Lentils, spinach and spiced potatoes

Lentils, spinach and spiced potatoesLast week’s recipe was for a goat or lamb curry with lentils and I’m continuing the theme this week with another warming dish, but this time vegetarian and inexpensive, for this unseasonally cold Spring. I’ve used puy lentils but other sorts can be used. However, just make sure that you follow the preparation and cooking times as described on their packaging.

Serves four to six as a main course or more as a starter

250g puy lentils – washed and drained
One onion – peeled and either finely chopped or whizzed in a food processor
Four cloves of garlic – peeled and finely chopped
One large carrot – peeled and cut into small dice
Two large potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks
Two tablespoons of garam masala
One tablespoon of turmeric
1/2 a tablespoon of ground ginger
A handful or two of washed baby spinach leaves
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
A little oil for sautéing
Plain yoghurt or crème fraiche to accompany

Heat a large heavy-based saucepan, add a little oil and fry the onion, garlic, carrot and potatoes until colouring a little. Add the spices, along with a couple of pinches of salt, and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the lentils and cooking for two more minutes while gently turning everything over.

Add enough cold water to just cover the vegetables, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add a little extra boiling water if the the mixture begins to get too dry but the objective is to end up with a relatively dry dish with a covering of sauce clinging to it.

Just as the vegetables are completely cooked, add the spinach leaves, stir and cook for a couple of minutes more until wilted. Taste and add some black pepper and more salt if necessary. Spoon into warm serving bowls and offer the yoghurt or crème fraiche to go alongside.

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