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    Spiced red lentils with couscous & pecans

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    Spiced red lentils with couscous & pecans

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes

    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients

    2 tbsp oil
    1 leek, cut lengthways, washed, then cut into bitesized chunks
    2.5cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    ½ red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded for less spice)
    1 tbsp cumin seeds
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tbsp ground coriander
    ½ tsp smoked paprika
    1 tbsp turmeric
    1 litre vegetable stock, hot
    500g red lentils, rinsed
    400g can chopped tomatoes
    2 ½ tbsp tamari or soy sauce
    1 tsp salt
    100g fine green beans or sugar snaps or mangetout, cut into bitesized pieces
    115g pack baby spinach
    Juice of ½ lemon
    250g wholewheat couscous
    150g pecans, chopped
    3 tbsp maple syrup

     

    Method

    1. Heat a large saucepan over a high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the leek, ginger, garlic, chilli and cumin seeds and fry for 3 minutes until the sides of the leek start to brown. Add the rest of the spices and move them around the pan quickly for 20 seconds.  Add the stock, lentils, tomatoes, 1 tbsp tamari and salt. Mix well, cover and bring to the boil.  

    2. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender and soft. If the mixture is dry, add some extra boiling water to loosen it to a sauce. Add the green beans and baby spinach, mix and remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice.

    3. Place the couscous in a medium bowl with a pinch of salt, mix and cover with enough boiling water to come 1cm above the couscous. Cover with a plate and leave to sit for 5 minutes until tender. Fluff up with a fork.

    4. Warm a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and dry fry the pecans for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly until toasted.  Mix the maple syrup and remaining tamari together, then add to the nuts and move them around the pan quickly until coated. Turn off the heat and keep stirring for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl. Serve the couscous with a generous portion of lentils topped with plenty of caramelised pecans.

     

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