When I posted the super easy recipe for Chickpea & spinach tikka masala curry a while ago which, if you remember, uses a ready-made curry paste, I promised I was going to blog more about how to make curries from scratch.
So today I wanted to share a great and delicious recipe for beginners. It is in fact one of the first recipes I eventually nailed after a few weeks of experimentation with Indian spices.
I certainly cannot guarantee it is an authentic Indian recipe but it tastes bloody amazing so that’s good enough for me!
If you’re new to making curries, do not worry. There are no spices to roast, grind, ingredients to marinate or pastes to prepare. You simply have one spice blend that you can pre-mix before you even turn on the hob. That’s it. You just add it to the rest of the ingredients and the magic is done!
- 120g dried red lentils
- 120g dried yellow split peas
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 4cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you want the curry to be milder)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1.5l hot water
- Salt to taste
- Prepare your spice blend by mixing garam masala, turmeric and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and fry the onions until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and the ginger and cook together for 1 minute, stirring often to stop the garlic from burning.
- Add the chopped chilli and the spice mix and cook for another minute, continuously stirring, to allow the spices to release their flavours.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, mix well and bring your curry sauce to a simmer.
- Add the lentils, the water and stir. Simmer for approximately 1 hour until the red lentils have broken down, the split peas are soft and the sauce has reduced down to a creamy consistency. Please bear in mind that cooking times may vary depending on which brand of lentils and split peas you are using so make sure you taste them before turning off the heat. If required, add more water and continue cooking until the pulses are fully cooked. Season with sea salt and serve hot with boiled basmati rice or naan breads.
This recipe freezes extremely well so make some extra portions and freeze in an airtight container for up to a month.
If you do not have yellow split peas, you can simply replace them with the same amount of red lentils so, for 6 servings, 240g of red lentils in total.
As well as being a great curry, this recipe makes a wonderful, warming soup. Just follow the recipe right until the lentils and split peas are cooked, then add enough vegetable stock to give it a soup-like consistency.
Do you have a kick-ass lentil curry recipe you wish to share? I’m always looking for more veggie inspiration and would love to know what your favourite recipes are!