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.

Ingredients

  • 500g carrots
  • 6 shallots
  • 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 coriander
  • 4 flatbreads
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220˚C/Gas Mark 8. Peel and wash the carrots. If they are large, split them in half lengthways. Cut them into interesting, angled 3cm pieces. Peel the shallots and cut them into quarters.
  2. Place the carrots and shallots 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. Split 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 halved chilli, garlic, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  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 coriander and shake it dry. Roughly chop it, stalks and all.
  6. Put the frying pan on a medium high heat. Brush the flatbreads with a little oil on both sides. Cook them in the pan, one at a time, until lightly coloured on both side. They should take about 1 minute each.
  7. When the lentils have cooked, season them well with salt and pepper until you are happy with the taste. Fold in half the chopped coriander. Serve the lentils in a shallow bowl. Spoon the roasted carrots and shallots on top and finish with the remaining coriander and the warm flatbreads.

Cooks notes

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.
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