Ingredients
3 heaped tsp cumin seeds (10 g)
4 heaped tsp coriander seeds (10 g)
1 ½ tsp salt
30 g fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish
50 g fresh coconut, cut in pieces (2-3cm), or 3 heaped tbsp, dried grated coconut (15 g) (optional)
80 g butter, cut in pieces
300 g onions, cut in pieces
2 garlic cloves
½ – ¾ tsp ground cayenne pepper or 1-2 fresh green chillies (6-8 cm long, deseeded)
1000 – 1200 g pumpkin, deseeded, cut in 8 pieces with skin on or butternut squash, deseeded, cut in 8 pieces with skin on
300 g dried lentils, green, brown or Puy
1000 g water
250-300 g roasted red peppers, preserved, roughly diced (1-2 cm)
130 g crème fraiche (optional)

Method

  • Place cumin seeds, coriander seeds and salt in mixing bowl and toast 6 min/120°C/speed spoon, then grind

    1 min/speed 10. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

  • Place fresh coriander and coconut in mixing bowl and chop 10 sec/speed 7. Transfer to a second small bowl and set aside.
  • Place butter, onions, garlic cloves, cayenne pepper and reserved ground spice mix in mixing bowl, chop 7 sec/speed 5, then sauté 5 min/120°C /speed soft. Meanwhile, arrange pumpkin pieces skin side down in Varoma dish and set aside.
  • Add lentils and water, set Varoma in position and cook 35-40 min/Varoma/Reverse/Speed 1 or until Pumpkin is very soft and lentils are soft but not mushy (see tips). Set covered Varoma aside on a plate.
  • Add reserved chopped coriander and coconut, red peppers and 50 g crème fraiche to mixing bowl, stir in using spatula, then adjust seasoning to taste. Serve curried lentils hot with steamed pumpkin pieces, garnishing with remaining crème fraiche and a few fresh coriander leaves. Scoop pumpkin off skin as you eat and discard skin.

Tips

  • Lentils vary as to how much water they absorb and how long they take to cook. If lentils are not yet tender at the end of step 4, set Varoma aside, add 100 g water and cook 5 min/100°C/reverse/speed 1, then, if needed, add another 100 g water and repeat.
  • When cooking for children, use only ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and serve with Greek yoghurt for a cooling effect.
  • To open a fresh coconut easily, heat it 5-7 minutes in a preheated oven (220-240°C) then remove from oven and carefully hit it with a hammer – the shell will crack easily because it will have expanded slightly from the coconut meat. Cut coconut meat in 3 cm pieces – no need to peel off the thin brown skin for this recipe. Extra coconut pieces can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Variations

  • If you prefer more of a dahl (mushy) texture, blend the curried lentils 20 sec/speed 6 at the end of step 4.
  • Use diced fresh red peppers instead of roasted preserved. This adds a lovely fresh crunch to the curried lentils.
  • Replace butter with coconut oil and crème fraiche with coconut cream.

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Curried Lentils & Steamed Pumpkin

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