Creamy coconut lentils with fresh herbs, tomatoes and beans

I’m a little behind with this site over the past few weeks, as I am having too much fun travelling. Last week was spent reacquainting myself with Amsterdam – a city which I lived in for about 5.5 years – and which I miss so much. I’ve just returned to Amsterdam now after spending a few days with Barth’s family in Maastricht and I’m looking out the window over a canal, with its picture book perfect canal houses and paved streets, and feeling all sappy. I’m sure once I head out on my bike this evening, rugging myself up to brace the ridiculously cold (spring?!) night while trying not to be bowled over by the gusts of wind and timing between showers of rain, I may not feel the same way…

Lentils

A plate of creamy lentils

These lentils are well-suited for a weeknight dinner in the cooler months. They are quick and easy to prepare, contain a good dose of vitamins from the vegetables but with a hint of indulgence from the creamy coconut milk and fresh zesty citrus and herbs. You can use any type of lentils in this recipe, however the black (beluga) lentils will hold their shape better once cooked, which complements the crunch from the beans. This recipe serves two adults when served alone (feel free to cook some rice with it, but we prefer it a little soupy as is).

Lentils

Lentils

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of black lentils (beluga)
  • 1 leek, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 1/2 eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 zucchini (courgette), sliced into coins
  • 270mL coconut milk
  • 1 handful of green beans
  • 1/2 large bunch of English spinach
  • 15g fresh mint
  • 15g fresh coriander
  • 1/2 lime or lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin coconut oil, for cooking

 Method

  1. Cover the lentils with 2-3 cups of water in a medium sized saucepan and put over medium heat.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are just cooked (and still firm to bite).
  2. While the lentils are cooking, put a large saucepan over medium-low heat with a spoon of coconut oil.  Add the leek, chilli flakes and cumin and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and increase the heat slightly and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook for another few minutes until they are soft.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk, the cooked lentils and the beans and spinach and simmer on low heat until the beans are almost cooked through.  Add the spinach and stir for another minute or two until cooked.  Remove from heat and stir in the mint, coriander and lime.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Creamy coconut lentils with fresh herbs, tomatoes and beans thumbnail image A creamy lentil dish, with coconut, tomatoes and greens 30min

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