I was in need of something warming to eat last night. Not blow-your-head-off hot, just something lightly spiced and restorative to ward off the cold.
The solution came in the form of an adaptation of a favourite Diana Henry recipe (Middle Eastern Lentils & Peppers). I served mine with rice and natural yoghurt and ate it snuggled up on the sofa watching The Great Comic Relief Bake Off – that last bit is optional, but comes highly recommended.
- 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 red pepper – deseeded and cut into strips
- 1 leek – cut into 1 cm slices
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 small butternut squash – peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
- 50g red lentils
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 200ml water (half fill the tomato tin)
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves – chopped
Gently fry the chilli and garlic for a minute, then add the leek and red pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until starting to soften, taking care not to over-brown.
Add the spices and fry carefully for a further minute before adding the butternut squash and red lentils.
Add the chopped tomatoes, water and sugar, season to taste and simmer (covered) for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sauce has reduced, stirring from time to time.
Sprinkle with the chopped coriander leaves to serve.