Invite someone over for a curry ….go on….do it! Usually, the response is an enthusiastic and loud “Ohhhhhhhhhh I love a good curry”. Sometimes it is a fist pump followed by a “yeeeeessss” but always, it’s a happy response. Curry nights are special. I love that sense of sharing, of communal dishes being passed around and the relaxed socialisation it lends itself so beautifully to. Unlike some other cuisines that come to mind, a curry night can just as happily be shared perched on milk crates at a makeshift table than it is around your large communal bench or decorated table.
I am excited to share this simple, quick and healthy vegetarian curry with you as well as two great sides of cucumber raita & pomegranate and onion salad. Invite some friends over for curry night and let the magic begin!
Lentil and cauliflower curry
Oil for cooking
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp Indian curry paste eg. tikka (see recipe below)
250 ml (1 cup) tomato puree
250 ml (1 cup) vegetable stock
1/2 cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 x 400g can lentils, drained and rinsed (or preferably cooked French lentils if your time permits)
100 g baby spinach leaves
A handful of coriander leaves
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil and the onion and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the tomato puree, stock and cauliflower and bring to the boil, season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Add the lentils and spinach and cook for 1–2 minutes. Check to season. Add a little more liquid should you feel it wants for it.
Add coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.
Pomegranate, Onion and Coriander Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 red onions
Juice of 2 limes
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
A handful of chopped coriander leaves
Finely slice the onions.
Cover with the lime juice and leave for 30 minutes then drain the juice and dispose of the juice (this is what takes away the onion flavour).
Add the pomegranate seeds and a handful of chopped coriander and voila!
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) natural yoghurt
3 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
Peel the cucumber and coarsely grate it. Take a handful and squeeze out the excess juice over a sink; transfer to a bowl.
Season with the salt and sugar then stir in the yoghurt and mint. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.