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What I love about red reds lentils is the speed at which it cooks. It is also interesting to note, that no soaking time is really needed to cook with these beauties. However, I do feel if we pre-soak them it does reduce the cooking time and ensures softer, but still firm lentils…depending on what we cooking 😉 Red lentils have a very high protein content and offers great taste as well. For this dish it is important to note; we don’t want the lentils to completely melt – we want them soft but still recognisable J still maintaining their shape. I particularly love meals with different textures, flavours and beautiful bold colours. Therefore, to this recipe I have added the meaty soya chunks as well as crispy crunchy and colourful vegetable like carrots, greens beans and peas all perfectly cooked with a special blend of spices.
Preparation: 1 hour including soaking the lentils Cooking time: 30-35 minutes Serves: 4 -5
2 tbsp (30ml) canola oil
2 small pieces cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ fenugreek seeds
½ cup (125ml) finely chopped onion
2 springs tender curry leaves
½ tbsp (7.5ml) finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp (15ml) finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp (15ml) coriander powder
1 tbsp (15ml) cumin powder
3 tbsp (45ml) mild-medium mixed masala or smoked paprika powder
1 tsp (5ml) turmeric powder
¾ cup soya chunks soaked in boiling water
1 ½ tsp (7.5ml) salt (adjust accordingly)
½ cup (125ml) cubed carrots
½ cup (125ml) sliced green beans
½ cup (125ml) split red lentils (pink dhal) washed and soaked clean water for 30 minutes
2 large tomatoes – liquidised (1 cup 250ml)
2 cups (500 ml) hot water (for more gravy add more)
¼ cup (60ml) frozen peas thawed in boiling water
1 tbsp (15ml) clarified butter (ghee)
2-3 green chillies sliced optional
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Let’s Cook 🙂
Firstly, rinse and soak the lentils and soya chunks in separate containers. the lentils will plump up and that’s when they ready. Note, when the soya chunks are soft, strain the water just before cooking.
Now heat the oil in a pot along with the cinnamon stick and star anise.
When the oil is hot enough – Toss in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds pop and leaves splatter – add the onion and fry until golden brown.
Spoon in the garlic and ginger – fry for a few seconds – toss in the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and mixed masala. Give it a quick stir and immediately add the soya chunks, carrots and green beans – again give it a good stir.
Pour in the ground tomatoes and cover the pot with a lid and cook until the tomatoes are cooked through – 5-7 minutes – stirring occasionally. (you may add another tablespoon of oil at this point if you feel the curry is too dry)
Pour in the water and bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes – lower the heat a bit – toss in the peas and cook for a further 8-10 minutes, until a nice thick gravy forms.
We don’t want the lentils to completely melt – we want them soft but still recognisable 🙂 holding their shape.
Turn off the heat and spoon in the ghee and chopped chillies
Garnish with coriander and serve with garlic naans or rotis or garlic bread