This is comfort in a bowl. Make a big batch – it is great back-of-the-freezer fodder for emergencies. This is a milder curry but the fresh ginger still gives it wonderful nose-clearing capabilities.
1 tbsp rice bran oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
5 cardamom pods, bruised, outer husks discarded
10 fresh curry leaves
3 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely ground
2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or to taste)
2 tsp ground turmeric
120g red lentils, rinsed
400ml coconut milk
400ml vegetable stock
salt to season
8cm knob of ginger, grated (about 1 tbsp grated ginger per serve)
2 tsp nigella seeds (½ tsp per serve)
¼ cup coriander leaves
Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent (about 6 minutes).
Add fenugreek seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves and fry until toasted and fragrant (about 1 minute).
Add the cumin, chilli powder and turmeric and stir until fragrant. Add the red lentils, coconut milk and stock and simmer until the mixture is creamy (about 20 minutes). Season with salt to taste.
Ladle the curry into bowls, top with grated ginger, nigella seeds and coriander leaves. Serve with steamed rice and chutney.