September 19, 2013 by Dewi
This veggie curry is hot, wholesome and will satisfy even the most carnivorous diner
Meat-lovers: don’t roll your eyes. Curries are a wonderful way of cooking vegetables, and this one is no exception. If you’re a little too cocky with the chillies, then fear not: this curry comes with a cooling mint yoghurt to calm your tastebuds!
Most vegetables work well in curries, as the spices really help to bring out their flavour. I think this works particularly well with butternut squash. I use masoor dal (split red lentils) to bulk out this curry, and the spinach adds another tasty (and healthy) element.
It doesn’t take long to make, and the best bit is if you have any curry leftover, you have the best ever lunch (or dinner, or even breakfast!) ready to go in the fridge for the next day. I actually think curries always taste a little better after a day or two in the fridge, where the flavours really get to know each other and intensify. Really, who doesn’t love a good curry?
For the curry paste:
- 60g peeled ginger, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp each of cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric and chilli powder
- 3 tsp garam masala
- 2 medium chillies, roughly chopped
For the curry:
- 160g masoor dal (split red lentils)
- 1/2 butternut squash (about 500g) peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped into chunks
- 2 medium red onions, roughly chopped
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 400g tinned tomatoes
- A few handfuls of baby leaf spinach
For the yoghurt:
- Small bunch of mint, leaves picked from the stalks
- 4 tbsp plain or greek yoghurt
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of garam masala
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat for a few minutes, being careful not to burn them.
Place these, and the rest of the paste ingredients into a food processor or coffee grinder and blitz. You may need to add some oil or water to loosen the paste. Set to one side.
Rinse the lentils under cold water and place in a large saucepan.
Cover (by an inch or two) with cold, unsalted water and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a deep sided casserole pan or frying pan, lightly fry the onion and squash over a medium heat until starting to soften (about 7 minutes).
Stir in the curry paste and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the lentils and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Using a pestle and mortar, bash up the mint leaves with the salt and sugar to form a green paste.
Stir in the yoghurt and a pinch of garam masala.
Using a potato masher, lightly bash up some of the curry, but only partially – you don’t want it to be mushy!
Take the curry off the heat, stir in the spinach and cover with a lid. The spinach will take minutes to wilt into the curry.
Serve with basmati rice and dollop over a few spoonfuls of that lovely, cooling yoghurt.