This dish is a powerhouse of nutrients. Packed with the goodness of protein and fibre, this fragrant curry is perfect for serving up at dinner when you have predominantly vegetarian guests. It is meaty in flavour and you will not miss having meat at the table. It is also great for cutting corners and controlling your budget while making sure pantry staples get used, especially with meat prices climbing higher every now and then.
The recipe I have provided today is a base recipe which works great for all, especially little kids who don’t have a lot of spice. I use this base recipe and jazz it up occasionally with cauliflower florets or chunks of potatoes and a dash of chilli powder to have a little variety on the table. It is a gorgeous curry with the lentils forming the creamy base of the dish and it is so easy to give it your own twist! The pomegranate adds a burst of sweet and tangy flavour and is my favourite part of the curry.
- 440g can chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup yellow lentils
- 1/2 cup brown lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon chola masala or garam masala
- salt to taste
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
- Heat oil in a deep casserole dish or pressure cooker on medium heat. Sauté nigella seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, bay leaves and ginger garlic paste for a minute. Add onions and tomatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes until tender.
- Reduce heat to low, add all the spices and cook for 3-4 minutes. Finally add the chickpeas, lentils and water. Increase heat to medium, cover with either casserole lid or pressure cook lid and cook for approximately 20 minutes until lentils are done.
- Garnish with coriander and pomegranate. Serve hot with Indian style pilaf, couscous or naan bread.
Depending on the utensil you are using, the lentils might not be cooked in 20 minutes. In this case, remove lid, lower heat, add about 1/2 cup of water and simmer gently until lentils are tender.