every lidl helps

Posts Tagged ‘lentils’

Lentil and aubergine curry

In Recipes on May 18, 2009 at 12:27

Lentil Curry

***Supper diem Soundtrack: Dangermouse/Sparklehorse***

So we still had half of that paneer left over from last week’s dinner…it was lying there in the fridge looking sorry for itself so I thought I would do the decent thing and cut it into small pieces before heating it up in a pan and then eating it.  It was its destiny.



1 Medium Aubergine, diced (£1.30)

75g paneer, cuboided (£0.70)

Half a red onion, finely chopped (£0.15)

3 cloves of garlic, crushed (£0.10)

1 red chill, finely chopped and deseeded (£0.20)

Half a cup of lentils (£0.25)

2 tsp cinammon (£0.10)

2 tsp cumin seeds (£0.10)

1 tsp fennel (£0.05)

1 tsp turmeric (£0.05)

1 tsp garam masala (£0.05)

1 tsp Bouillon powder (£0.05)

1 tbsp veg oil (£0.05)

half a cup long grain rice (£0.20)

mango chutney on the side (£0.20)

Approx cost: £3.55



Now some people think you should give the aubergine some serious preparation before using it in your dish, salting it to remove excess moisture and its underlying bitterness.  Well in this case I was in a rush so didn’t have time to do that, and thought that in a curry it would be okay, taking on the flavours of the spices.

After prepping the veg I started off with the garlic, then onions, and finally the chilli going into a some oil brought to a medium heat in a wok.  After a while they had softened and started to brown, so I added the cumin and fennel seeds.  In went the aubergine, and I admit it did look quite bitter, but that was to do with an unfortunate and embarassing incident that occured between us last week that I can’t go into.  After a few minutes I then stirred in the lentils, making sure they were well coated, before adding the teaspoon of bouillon.  I then added some water a little at a time, letting the lentils absorb the moisture before inundating them again.  I didn’t add all the water at once as sometimes this leads to the lentils losing their texture and the whole curry becoming quite stodgy.  When they had softened somewhat and were on their way to being cooked I added the diced paneer.  It won’t melt, it just softens a little and gives the dish another texture.

After it had cooked through for a while I added the rest of the spices and a little more water as it had started to dry out a little.  Like I said, better to hold back with the moisture until things have cooked and you know where you stand.

While the curry was finishing cooking I made the rice using the normal recipe, though I didn’t add any spices or flavourings like I sometimes do.

It turned out really well, the aubergine wasn’t bitter at all, although it had absorbed a little of the moisture.  It can handle a long cooking time it seems, as can the paneer, both holding their shape but giving a little in terms of tenderness.

Very tasty and all polished off without and leftovers, although there were slight seconds…


Washing up count: wok, two wooden spoons, chopping board, knife, teaspoon, tablespoon = 7.

***supper diem***


Paneer Pasta

In Recipes on May 12, 2009 at 22:35

paneer pasta1

***Supper diem Soundtrack: Bill Callahan***

I liked this meal a lot, and it was very simple to make.  Spaghetti this time instead of Bucatini, along with a sauce based around tomatoes and lentils, with a few vegetables and some diced paneer.

Paneer is an indian soft cheese that is quite easy to make, although in this instance it was pur-chased from Kairali Spice Centre (a good little shop on Pen Y Wain road off Wellfield Road).  It doesn’t melt like other cheeses can, so holds its shape even though it has been added to a hot sauce.  It is quite plain on first bite, but an underlying creaminess comes through…



2 servings spaghetti (£0.20)

Half a courgette, sliced (£0.30)

Half a red pepper, sliced (£0.30)

Half a carrot, diced (£0.10)

50 g paneer, diced (£0.50)

Half a cup of lentils (£0.10)

Three mushrooms, sliced (£0.25)

Teaspoon bouillon (£0.05???)

Half a red onion, chopped (£0.20)

Two cloves garlic, chopped (£0.05)

Can of tomatoes (£0.35)

Approx cost: £2.50



We start with the combo of pan-hob-oil-heat.  Then add the chopped onion and chopped garlic, sizzling it to a soft golden brown.  You can add the veg in any order really, but maybe hold back on the mushrooms for a bit.  When the contents of the pan have become well acquainted with each other stir in the lentils, and once they are well mixed in add the tomatoes.  I like using tinned plum tomatoes and then squashing each one into a saucy pulp with the wooden spoon.  It’s satisfying and in no way indicative of an underlying disorder on my part.  Use said spoon to encourage the well acquainted ingredients to become rather more intimate, making sure there is no courgette untouched by the red taint of tomato, and add the bouillon, or a vegetable stock cube.  Leave to simmer for a bit, and if the lentils look like they’re sucking all the moisture out then add just enough the return the sauce to a more agreeable viscosity.  Add the mushrooms too, as well as the diced paneer.  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until everything is cooked and looking nice, dab in a teaspoon and give it a taste, before seasoning with salt and pepper as required (maybe just the pepper).

By now you will have cooked your spaghetti, so dish it all up, sauce on top, and maybe give the spaghetti a little drizzle of olive oil and extra grind of pepper if that takes your fancy.

It’s a more than adequate substitute for a meaty bolognese.  (If I keep saying it I might start believing it…no, really, it was delicious, and cheap to boot!)


Washing up count….you know what, I can’t remember! Not that much though.

***supper diem***

Lentil and Spinach Curry, Chapattis, and Lime and Pistachio yoghurt

In Recipes on April 23, 2009 at 09:04

Lentil + spinach curry


For the curry:

Red Lentils (150g) (50p)

Ginger (a good couple of inches) (10p)

Water (850ml)

Three Green Chillies (left whole) (10p)

Turmeric (¾ teaspoon)

Tomatoes (two, blended) (20p)

Spinach (a couple of handfuls, washed) (50p)

Sunflower oil (1 ½ Tablespoons)

Cumin Seeds (1 teaspoon)

Garlic (2 cloves, chopped into 5 or 6 pieces)

Garam Masala (½ teaspoon)

Coriander Power (1 teaspoon)

For the chapattis:

Chapatti flour (150g) (50p)

Lukewarm Water

Sunflower Oil (a dash)

Lime and Pistachio yogurt:

Plain yogurt (I used about 3 desert spoons) (40p)

Zest of half a lime (15p – but you can still use its innards)

Unsalted pistachio kernels (approx 5, smashed up with a rolling pin)

I’m not an accountant… I haven’t calculated the minutia of this recipe, but the spices can be considered as an investment!

Total cost: £2.45

This is a really simple curry to make, it is a variation of one of Anjum Anand’s, but I tend to vary what I put in – it would probably taste just as good with some added onion, extra spices or other pulses or beans.



I start by rinsing the lentils in some cold water. Next, place the lentils, ginger, green chillies, turmeric and water in a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Once it’s bubbling, give it a stir to make sure nothing’s sticking, and turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes or so, before adding the tomatoes and a bit of salt. Leave to cook for another 10 minutes or so, then stir in the spinach. Keep simmering for 10 or 15 minutes until the lentils are nice and soft and the curry is starting to thicken. Just before you are ready to serve, heat the sunflower oil in a small saucepan, add the cumin seeds and garlic, and cook until the garlic starts to turn brown, then add the coriander powder and garam masala, give it another quick stir, then add it to the curry. Then it’s ready!

I normally start making the chappati dough while the lentils are boiling. It is so simple, just add a little bit of a water at a time to the flour, stirring and finally kneading into a dough. Once it’s done, roll into a ball, cover and cool in the fridge. After it’s chilled for 15 minutes or so pull off small sections and roll into pancake-like disks (using lots of flour and a rolling pin). Cook them as you go: heat up a large non-stick frying pan (I use a wok) until it’s really hot, don’t use any oil, just cook them on both sides until they bubble up and brown (a bit like pancakes).

For the yoghurt, I just mixed all the ingredients, to make a fresh tasting and zesty accompaniment.


Washing up count: 2 pans, 1 wok, 2 wooden spoons, 1 serving spoon, measuring spoons, colander (for the spinach), sieve (for the lentils), rolling pin, 2 plastic bowls, measuring jug, blender and one very messy hob! =A whopping 15. Lucky I’m not washing up tonight!

***supper diem***