- 50g dried red lentils
- 3 onions, finely sliced
- 1 large aubergine or 2 small ones, diced
- 1tsp oil, for frying
- 4 large garlic cloves
- ½tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp cumin, seeds or ground ¼tsp star anise, or ⅛tsp fennel seeds
- Ground black pepper
- 1–2tsp chilli flakes
- 2tbsp tomato purée
- 2tbsp vinegar or lemon juice, fresh or bottled
- 30g spinach
- Thoroughly rinse the lentils and place in a pan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for around 12 minutes until soft and swollen. Drain, rinse well and set aside.
- Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil over medium heat. After about 10 minutes, add the garlic cloves (peeled, but whole) and aubergine, stirring often. Cook for 15 minutes, adding more oil, if needed.
- Add the cinnamon, cumin, star anise or fennel, and pepper, and half of your chosen quantity of chilli, leaving half to garnish. Stir well to combine, then add 200ml water to the pan, and turn up the heat to medium-high.
- Add the reserved lentils, tomato purée and vinegar, or lemon juice, and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for around 30 minutes, stirring slowly every now and then.
- If it still looks too watery, bring it back to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook a little more. Stir through the spinach a few minutes before serving, taste and add the extra chilli, if you like. Serve with boiled rice to make it go a little further.
This recipe is an extract from Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe, published by Pan Macmillan.
Nutrition per serving
Read more on how we calculate nutrition.
281 12g 4.3g 0.6g 12g 21g 0.4g 169mg 40g