Renown vegetarian cookbook writer, Rose Elliott found this in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery and adapted it and I have tweaked it a bit.
It’s a quick excursion to the East.
There was a small cabbage in the fridge and some fenugreek seeds on the shelf in the larder, which I whizzed into powder in a converted coffee grinder!
The fenugreek is optional, but interesting… (as its name implies this herb is found in the mediterranean region and has healing qualities as well as culinary uses.)
Our friend Myriam called in this morning and said it was minus ten last night and would not get warmer until Wednesday, so a bowl of something gently spicy and soupy for lunch might be just the ticket.
250gms/8oz red lentils
2 1/4 pints/1300ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
375gms/12oz tinned tomatoes–chopped
- Rinse the lentils thoroughly.
- Put them in a saucepan with the stock and the turmeric and bring up to the boil.
- Cook at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes then set aside.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder (optional)
1 tablespoon curry powder
a small cabbage–outer leaves removed, quartered, cored and shredded
Juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
Parsley or better still fresh coriander–chopped to sprinkle over
- Heat the oil in a new pan.
- Add the mustard seeds and cook them until they start to pop–a couple of minutes; they look brown in the photo but in fact stay black.
- Mix in the curry powder and the fenugreek (if using) and let them cook for a few seconds.
- Add the onion and the cabbage and mix everything together well.
- Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the wilted cabbage mix to the lentils.
- Bring the mixture up to the simmer.
- Leave it to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle over the parsley or coriander when you serve.