Indian masala roast carrots with coconut red lentils & flatbreads recipe image

Print Indian masala roast carrots with coconut red lentils & flatbreads

The sweet, earthy qualities of the humble carrot make it an ideal vehicle for a whole world of spices. Set against this simple dahl-like bowl of lentils, they are best roasted with a little bite left to them. Make sure you cook the lentils on a low heat; too hot and they will stick to the base of the pan as they absorb water and thicken.

Ingredients

  • 500g bunched carrots
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • Plain oil e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 30g fresh parsley
  • 4 tortillas
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander leaf
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220˚C/Gas Mark 8. Peel and wash the carrots. If they are large, cut them in half, lengthways. Cut them into interesting, angled 3cm pieces. Peel the onions and cut them into 8 wedges each.
  2. Place the carrots and onions in the roasting tin, add the garam masala and 2 tablespoons of oil. Season well with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes, until tender but toothsome and coloured at the edges. Turn once or twice during cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the red lentils thoroughly in the sieve under cold running water to remove excess starch. Cut the chilli in half and remove the seeds. Peel and slice 3 garlic cloves. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the saucepan and add the garlic, mustard seeds, curry leaves and halved chilli.
  4. Fry gently for 1 minute, until the mustard seeds start to pop. Tip in the curry powder, followed by the lentils, coconut milk and 150ml of water. Bring the lentils to the boil, spoon off any scum that rises to the surface, and leave to simmer for about 25 minutes, until the lentils have gone soft.
  5. Add more water if they start drying out; you want a loose, porridge-like consistency. While the lentils cook, roughly chop the tomatoes. Add them straight into the lentils. Wash the parsley and shake it dry. Roughly chop the leaves.
  6. Put the frying pan on a medium-high heat. Brush the tortillas with a little oil on both sides. Cook them in the pan, one at a time, turning them over until lightly coloured on both sides. They should take about 1 minute each.
  7. When the lentils have cooked, stir in the dried coriander leaf and season them well with salt and pepper until you are happy with the taste. Fold in half the chopped parsley. Taste the carrots and enliven them with a squeeze or 2 of lemon to your taste.
  8. Serve the lentils in a shallow bowl. Spoon the roasted carrots and onions on top and finish with the remaining parsley and the warm tortillas.
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