For a variety of different reasons – health, environmental or even just emotional – more and more people are giving up eating meat, or at least limiting their intake. Personally I have been a vegetarian for over 15 years, which means in that time I have had to come up with many different ways to make meat-free dishes, and create my own recipes. When people first give up meat they can sometimes find it hard to be creative or have variety in their meals – which is hopefully where I (and this recipe) can help!
One cuisine that is super-vegetarian friendly is Indian – dhaals, ghobis, saag…. all of these dishes are vegetable based. So I’ve come up with a simple vegetarian curry recipe that is easy and inexpensive to make, and should easily last at least 3 days, so it’s the perfect dish to cook on a Sunday night to see you through midweek suppers and lunches.
So without further ado, here is my recipe for Squash, Spinach and Lentil Curry.
Ingredients (to make large curry for 4-6 people or 3-4 days worth for one person)
2 x finely chopped onions
2 x chopped garlic cloves
Either 1 x chopped fresh chilli or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder (I used madras but use one appropriate to your spice preference!)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 chopped butternut squash (I used a pre-prepared bag of squash chunks from Waitrose – this can save time and hassle)
1 x small bag (250g) of red split lentils
Vegetable stock cube or Bouillon powder dissolved in 500ml water
Small bag of spinach leaves (or approximately 4 handfuls)
Coconut oil to cook
Natural or coconut yogurt to serve
In a large saucepan, heat approx 1tbsp of coconut oil until melted. On a medium heat, fry the chopped onions and garlic until transparent. Do not allow to burn. Add in all the spices, chilli and curry powder and stir until the onions and garlic are coated. Add in the chopped squash and again ensure it is coated in the mixture.
Pour in the bag of lentils and the stock/water – the mixture should be just covered but if not feel free to top up with more water. The lentils will soak up a lot of moisture so don’t let the mixture become too dry. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, but check every 3-4 minutes and stir.
Feel free to add more water as necessary. Once the squash and lentils are tender, add in the spinach and stir well. Cook for a further 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
Serve immediately with rice of your choice – basmati or cauliflower work well – and garnish with a spoonful of yogurt.
The mixture will keep in and airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, and can also be frozen and reheated.
This recipe can also be adapted for other vegetables if you prefer – chickpeas, sweet potato, aubergines all work well in curries so once you’ve mastered this dish feel free to get creative! And as always, if you give this one a go please tag me in your photos as I love seeing when you guys try my recipes!