I love using green lentils (as well as puy lentils) because they hold their shape and bite really well during cooking meaning that when you’re making a lentil curry, it doesn’t melt into a thick soup-like consistency as happens when you just use red lentils.  I absolutely love a red lentil dal too but it is nice to have something to chew on and to have an alternative.

I have used a mixture of strong spices such as fenugreek, fennel, chilli, cumin, ginger, mustard and turmeric in this curry with plenty of garlic so it has lots of flavour.  I used a mortar and pestle to pound the spices and onions to a paste before adding back to the pan, but feel free to use a mini food processor or transfer to a jug and use a hand blender to break the ingredients down and release the flavours which will infuse into the sauce whilst cooking.  Using a mortar and pestle is a way to cook and prepare food more mindfully and be really engaged with the process but it is more time consuming and requires some elbow work! so it depends on what mood I am in and how much time I have as to how I create the paste on that given day!

Using a mix of red lentils with the green gives the sauce a lovely thick consistency as the red lentils break down and this, mixed with the coconut milk, creates a lovely creamy texture.

I used red onions in this recipe simply because I didn’t have any brown ones in my fridge at the time! They add a sweeter, more mild taste than a brown onion would but either could be used without too much impact on the final flavour of the dish.

 

If you are on a calorie restricted diet and would like to omit the coconut milk, you can do this but of course the sauce will not be as creamy and you will not have the sweet, coconut flavour, but it will still be very tasty with all of the spices!  I recently made this for a large group of people and I doubled the recipe ingredients but only used 1 can of coconut milk and it tasted delicious so play around with the coconut milk addition quantity until you reach the one you prefer best based on calories and taste.  If you decide to leave out the coconut milk but would still like to achieve a creamy texture, simply add more red lentils as these break down during the cooking process and make the sauce thicker.

 

You can make the curry paste ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.

 

The curry is delicious served straight from the pan but you could add rice or roti to make it go further if needed.

Here’s what you will need;

  • spices
    • fennel seeds
    • mustard seeds
    • fenugreek seeds
    • cumin
    • turmeric
    • mild chilli powder
    • ground coriander
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • coconut milk from a can
  • fresh kale
  • onions – red or brown
  • green lentils
  • red lentils
  • vegetable stock cube

Begin by rinsing the lentils in a sieve under running cold water for a few minutes, then set aside to drain.

Roughly chop the onion and add it to a deep pan with a splash of oil or water if you prefer.  Place on the lid and cook gently until translucent which will take about 5 or so minutes.

Next, add the grated ginger and chopped garlic and stir into the onions, before shortly after, adding all of the spices.  Stir together well for a minute over medium heat.

Now transfer the mixture to a mortar and pestle or a food processor and pound or grind until you reach a paste-like consistency and all of the spices and onions have broken down.

Transfer the paste back to the pan, add the green and red lentils with 3x the volume of water (2 cups of lentils with 6 cups of water), plus the vegetable stock cube.  Bring to the boil then turn down the heat to simmer, with a lid placed firmly on the pan.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add the coconut milk to the pan and stir through.

Then add the chopped kale and stir through.

Return the lid to the pan and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat.

Season well with salt & ground black pepper to taste.

It’s now ready to serve.

Lentil Verte, Green Kale & Coconut Curry with Fenugreek & Fennel

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Joanne
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Ingredients

Spices

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder or more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 large cloves garlic skin removed, chopped
  • 2 inch ginger root peeled

Other ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 large leaves kale stems removed, washed, shredded small
  • 2 red or brown onions peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup green lentils rinsed
  • 1 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 1 veg stock cube
  • 6 cups water

Instructions

  1. Begin by rinsing the lentils in a sieve under running cold water for a few minutes, then set aside to drain.

  2. Roughly chop the onion and add it to a deep pan with a splash of oil or water if you prefer.  Place on the lid and cook gently until translucent which will take about 5 or so minutes.

  3. Next, add the grated ginger and chopped garlic and stir into the onions, before shortly after, adding all of the spices.  Stir together well for a minute over medium heat.  

  4. Now transfer the mixture to a mortar and pestle or a food processor and pound or grind until you reach a paste-like consistency and all of the spices and onions have broken down.

  5. Transfer the paste back to the pan, add the green and red lentils with 3x the volume of water (2 cups of lentils with 6 cups of water), plus the vegetable stock cube.  Bring to the boil then turn down the heat to simmer, with a lid placed firmly on the pan.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

  6. After 30 minutes, add the coconut milk to the pan and stir through.

  7. Then add the chopped kale and stir through.

  8. Return the lid to the pan and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat.

  9. Season well with salt & ground black pepper to taste.

    It's now ready to serve. You can eat it as it is or add rice or roti or naan bread to make it go further and serve more people.

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