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Spiced red lentils with couscous & pecans
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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
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.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in March 2019.