Neil Perry's chickpea and green lentil curry with spinach

Chickpea and green lentil curry served with chopped tomatoes and coriander.
Chickpea and green lentil curry served with chopped tomatoes and coriander. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Vegetarian

This is a lovely, earthy curry, enriched by yoghurt and lime, which add a bit of sharpness and creaminess. I like to make a salsa to go with this, with chopped tomatoes, red onion and lots of fresh herbs, finished with a dash of rice wine vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar and salt. Add it on top of the yoghurt – it lifts the whole flavour profile. This is also a tasty sauce to place under pan-seared seafood such as scallops or prawns, or even a nice piece of white-fleshed fish

Ingredients

1 cup green lentils

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 bay leaf

1 bunch spinach, leaves picked, washed well and shredded

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed

1 cup tinned chickpeas, drained

2 fresh long red chillies, cut into thin rounds

1 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt

juice of 1 lime

steamed rice, to serve

chopped tomatoes and chopped coriander, to serve (optional)

Method

1. Place the lentils in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Take off the heat, drain immediately and rinse.

2. Place the blanched lentils, turmeric, bay leaf and 1 litre (4 cups) water in a heavy-based pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook gently for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender.

3. Add the spinach, sea salt, chilli powder, cumin and 80ml (⅓ cup) water. Stir to combine, then return to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the chickpeas and heat through, then remove from the heat.

4. Stir in the fresh chilli and spoon into a serving bowl. Add the yoghurt on top, then the lime juice, and serve with steamed rice. Top with chopped tomatoes and coriander, if using.