While I love meat and I could never be vegetarian, there is really no need to make vegetarian dishes bland and boring. Lentils are full of flavour (and iron, so no need for that steak) and aubergines are the meatiest vegetable out there. Both make a healthy alternative to meaty dishes and, combined with some Indian spices, you have the perfect winter warmer.
This started as a lentil and carrot soup, until I realised I had no carrots and had to improvise. So please don’t judge me on the authenticity of the dish. It’s yummy.
Lentil and Aubergine Curry
1 large onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely or grated
2 dried birds eye chillies, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder
200gr lentils (I used green, but red perhaps will be more authentic)
2 tbsp tomato paste, diluted in some water
1 tsp garam masala
salt, to taste
200gr Total Greek Yoghurt, to serve
Fry the onions and the garlic in the olive oil together with the spices (chillies, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, chilli powder) over low-medium heat, until soft. Add the aubergines and fry them a little longer, until they start to soften.
Add the lentils and the tomato paste and let it simmer over low heat. You might need to add more water as this is cooking since the lentils will absorb quite a bit. When the lentils are soft (about 40 minutes later), add the garam masala and season with salt.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and some warm pita bread.
Previously on Round the World in 100 Recipes:
King Prawn Puri
Saffron Yoghurt with Fennel Seed Biscuits
Aubergine in Yoghurt
Heston’s Chicken Tikka Masala
Lamb and Spinach Curry
Red Onion and Pomegranate Salad