So, if you’ve made the Beetroot, Feta and Lentil salad that I kicked off my Guardian recipe column with – or you have some lentils and spinach still kicking about, here’s a recipe for a quick warming winter dinner. It’s easy and filling – I love mine with pitta breads dunked in…
Ingredients (serves two):
1 red chilli or pinch of dried flakes
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin or turmeric, or a tsp each if you have them
100g red split lentils
1 chicken stock cube
200ml natural yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
First, peel and finely slice the onion, and finely chop the chilli, and add to a large frying pan or sauté pan with the spices and crumbled stock cube. Cook on a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened.
Thoroughly rinse the lentils and add to the pan, turn the heat up to medium, and stir through. Toast for a few minutes, before adding half the water (100ml). Stir in quickly – it will absorb quite fast.
Chop the spinach and add to the pan (if using frozen spinach just put it straight in, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it starts to cook). Add the remaining water and stir through, until the spinach is wilted and the lentils are swollen.
Stir the yoghurt in and serve with fresh herbs – coriander or parsley or mint work well if you have them to hand – and a shake of lemon juice.
Leftovers can be thinned with a little stock to make a delicious soup, or tossed through pasta. Keep in the fridge for 2 days or freeze in an ice cube tray for easy portions.
Ingredient cost breakdown (calculated at Sainsburys but similar prices available at other supermarkets): 1 loose onion 11p. Bird eye chillies 75p for 10 (8p each). Vegetable or sunflower oil £4.50/3l (3p/tbsp). 42g cumin £1 (10p for 2 tsp). 500g split red lentils £1.09 (22p for 100g). 10 Basics stock cubes 20p (2p each). 500ml natural yoghurt 45p (18p for 200ml). 260g spinach £1 (50p for 130g). 250ml lemon juice 60p (4p/tbsp). 6 Pitta breads 22p (4p each). Total cost of ingredients used: £1.32.
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Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook: www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack