A hearty yet healthy lentil recipe that is filling, delicious, and has the added bonus of delivering plenty of goodness to my body. My Curry-Spiced + Coconut Lentil Hot Pot is my take on a classic – Shepherd’s Pie.
Puy lentils are gently simmered in a curry-spiced and ginger-kissed coconut broth, and are given layers and layers of flavour from the addition of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, chilli, tomatoes and turmeric. Soft, earthy and sweet, the lentils create a base for a bright mound of smashed honey sweetened sweet potatoes and sprinkling of fresh coriander.
This recipe is an absolute winner for me. A satisfying and tasty midweek meal that gives me bags of energy without weighing me down.
1 tbsp coconut oil – a neutral vegetable or safflower oil would also work well
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tbsp ground cardamom
10 whole cloves
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 long red chilli, sliced roughly into thirds
1 tsp turmeric
2 large tomatoes, diced
¾ cup coconut milk – organic if possible
¾ cup water
¾ cup puy lentils, rinsed and drained
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh coriander, to garnish
For the sweet potatoes:
2 small sweet potatoes, diced into small cubes
1½ tbsp honey
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven and grill to 180C
Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, cardamom and cloves and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the sliced onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli and stir, cook for another minute or two before adding the tomatoes and their juices, and turmeric.
Give the pot a stir and add in the coconut milk, water and lentils. Stir again, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it gently simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the sweet potato mash. Add the diced potatoes to a pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered until the potatoes are soft and tender – a good way to check if they are done is to scoop a piece out and mash it with a fork. If it’s easy to mash, you are good to go!
Once cooked, drain and return to the saucepan. Add the honey, season with salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher or, if you have one, whiz up the potatoes with a stick blender. Season to taste.
Once the lentils are done, remove from heat and allow them to cool a little before dividing between four individual serving dishes – or one big serving dish. Top the lentil mixture with a big dollop of the sweet potato mash and drizzle with a little extra oil.
Pop under the grill for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are nice and hot.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon.