Paul and I can never agree on curry takeaways. Whilst he likes the sophisticated flavourings of Aartis on Street Lane, I like my takeaway curry to be a little bit dirty. A little bit fluorescent. I like my chicken tikka masala to be bright red and greasy. So wrong, but so right.
However, when it comes to home-made, I prefer my curries to be wholesome. I don’t claim any authenticity – I don’t grind or roast spices, this curry is not a labour of love but a quick and easy meal that will warm your belly and make you feel a little bit smug (it’s the spinach, it’s a smug food). It also makes a pretty good lunchbox meal, although watch out for envious glares as others poke at their soggy sandwiches. I know it’s not very ‘foodie’ to suggest something is microwave-friendly but this really is – and sometimes that’s okay. Just save the tub from your last takeaway to put it in. Or be nerdy like us and buy a hundred of those little trays from Costco for all your tupperware needs. As you can tell, it gets pretty crazy here…
I used a mixture of lentils from Tesco, but this really works with any kind of lentils – you could add chickpeas as well. It’s a real store-cupboard meal – if you cook regularly, you’ll probably have most of the ingredients in already.
- 150g mixed lentils
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely grated
- 1 tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
- 2 tsp. medium curry powder
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 150g natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 150g fresh spinach
- Big dollop of natural yoghurt
- Freshly chopped coriander
- Rice of your choice
- Naan breads (obvs)
- Cook the lentils according to packet instructions and leave to one side.
- In a large saucepan on a medium heat, heat some oil and gently fry the onions for 5-10 minutes until soft.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and curry powder until the onions are well coated. Cook for another minute or so until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, yoghurt, lentils and turmeric. Stir together.
- Add the spinach in handfuls, allowing each amount to wilt down and stir into the sauce before adding the next.
- Once all the spinach has been added, turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the curry has thickened.
- Serve with an extra dollop of yoghurt, some fresh coriander and all the usual accompaniments (don't forget some bhajis!).