Vegetable, Lentil and Chickpea Curry

A medium hot vegetarian curry from South India
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
1lb / 450g assorted vegetables peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (such as potato, sweet potato, courgette, aubergine, green beans, red/green/yellow peppers
2 medium onions roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3 oz / 75g red lentils
14oz / 400g tinned chickpeas
2 oz / 50g creamed coconut block
1/2 tsp salt
Herbs & Spices
4 Cardamom Whole
1 Chillies Whole
1/4 tsp Cinnamon Ground
1 tsp Coriander Ground
1/2 tsp Cumin Ground
4 Fenugreek Leaf
1/2 tsp Ginger Ground
1 tbsp Mustard Seed Black
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Cooking Instructions
Wash lentils and boil in plenty of water until soft but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a heavy pan or wok. Fry onions and garlic over a medium heat until the onions are soft. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom (crushed with back of spoon), ginger and turmeric and fry for a further 2 mins (keep stirring to prevent sticking). Add all your chosen chopped vegetables, stir well to coat with the spicy oil mixture and gently fry for 2 mins. Add enough water to cover the vegetables (about 14 fl oz/ 400ml). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the coconut, salt, fenugreek leaves and chilli and stir will to dissolve the coconut. Leave to simmer for about 10 mins by which time the lentils should be about ready.

Drain the tinned chickpeas and add to the pan along with the drained lentils. Stir and simmer uncovered for a further 5 mins or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce thickens.

Toast the mustard seeds in a dry saucepan by heating gently until the seeds start to jump and take on a smokey colour. Add immediately to the curry and stir through.

Serve with boiled rice, nan or pitta bread and salad.