For the curry paste
1½ tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
4 garlic cloves
25g piece fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
50g toasted flaked almonds (or 50g creamed coconut)
1½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 fresh green chilli, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
For the curry
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 bay leaf
10-cm cinnamon stick, snapped in half
100g lentils, washed
500g–1kg vegetables of your choice (aubergine, cauliflower, sweet potato,
potato, broccoli, peppers)
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
500ml vegetable stock
- First make the paste – heat a dry frying pan until hot. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and fry for about 1 minute, tossing occasionally, until toasted. Keep an eye on them.
- Take off the heat and transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind. Tip into a blender, add the remaining paste ingredients, plus 2 tbsp water, and whizz until finely chopped, but not completely smooth.
- Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and fry the onions until soft.
- Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and cook gently for 6–8 minutes. Add the lentils, vegetables, chickpeas and the curry paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until all the vegetables are cooked. The sauce should reduce and thicken.