Having provided you with a recipe for masala paste it would be remiss of me not to give you a quick and easy recipe that – I guarantee – once you have made it once you will return to again and again.
RECIPE – feeds 3 easily
2 tsp groundnut oil
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tbsp masala paste
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tin chopped tomatoes
250ml passata, or vegetable stock
200g red lentils, rinsed
200g spinach leaves
to serve: natural yogurt, if desired
Heat the oil over a medium heat and gently saute the onion for five minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before adding the masala paste. Cook on for a minute or two, stirring constantly, to release the aromas of the garlic and masala paste, then add the tomatoes and passata or stock.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the lentils. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the lentils are tender but still holding their shape. Remove from the heat and add the spinach leaves, stirring them well into the sauce so that they wilt.
If this is a little too hot for anyone, a little natural yogurt stirred in will temper the heat.
This is great served with chapatis or wholemeal rotis.