Category Archives: Lentils

Smoky aubergine & lentil dip, preserved roasted red onion relish, and everything in between…

This week I made this lovely dip from Hanady’s blog, it’s made with gorgeous soft aubergine flesh and lentils – the recipe calls for green lentils, i used brown ones and they worked great. 

With the leftover lentils, I mixed them with chopped fresh coriander & parsley, garlic and spring onions, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and pomegranate molasses, and left them to marinade for a few hours. This is what I served some of the dip with, above, and then threw over some dried barberries, below..

Which I ate with grilled slices of courgette…

Do check out Hanady’s recipe, it’s lovely, as is all of her blog

With the leftovers of the leftovers I made myself a little platter of the aubergine and lentil dip, the lentil and herb salad, and I blended some of the herb and lentil mix with some yoghurt and tahini to form a third concoction…

And then the rest of the herb and lentil salad got added to some more chopped herbs and spring onions and quinoa…

Which I ate with some of the preserved roasted red onion relish…

….which brings me onto Laura’s excellent recipe

I love roasted red onions, and I love the idea of any relish, but not all of the sugar that they usually require. Laura’s recipe includes no sugar at all! Hurrah!!!!! It’s just the onions, salt, and apple cider vinegar. 

I’ve now made a couple of batches of this, and I will probably continually remake it as my stocks diminish. I’ve added the onions to everything: salads, dips, grains, veg, my husband has added it to his homemade chicken burgers and thrown some over pizzas, it’s so fab to have a jar of in the fridge. 

This week’s onions are so purple, the colour is lovely, last week’s were more red..

The slight amendments I’ve made to Laura’s recipe is that I roast my onions in a tiny drizzle of olive oil, uncovered, and keep them moving during the roasting time; then I chop them quite finely. I also scrape out all of the sticky bits of roasted onion from the pan into the mixture. But otherwise, it’s all thanks to Laura for this one 🙂

This adds to the collection of jars of goodies that I have in my fridge, always jars and jars of homemade goodness…

A shot of all of the jars of my creations in my fridge last week – I do love having a fridge full of possibilities!!! 

I hope you’ve had a great weekend, and have a great weekend to come. I’m going to take Hanady’s and Laura’s inspirations over to this week’s Fiesta Friday and share my leftover creations with this month’s Cook Once Eat Twice collection…

Spiced broccoli stuffed parathas..

 Following on from my previous post, I continued to play with some more broccoli last week, and made these spiced broccoli stuffed breads..they were a huge success, and another great way to get my son to eat vegetables he other would not! 

Before I go any further, can I just make a note here: 

My esteemed Indian food blogging friends make a much better job of putting these breads together than I did, but it worked, so I’m not complaining, they’re just not as pretty as many of yours are! This is what I did as a result of reading your many wonderful recipes.. 

Check out Sonals blog for lots more stuffed flatbread recipes including tutorials on how to make them. 

But before you do that…here’s mine..


1 1/2 cups whole wheat/atta flour 

2 tsp oil (I used rapeseed)

Pinch of salt

Warm water as needed

For the filling:

1 tbsp oil of your choice, I used coconut oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup broccoli, chopped into florets

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala or Kitchen King masala (I used the one I made recently)  


Boil or steam the broccoli florets as you would normally, without letting them get too soft, then leave them to drain well. I used the tops of the ‘trees’ as much as possible

Once cooled, blend or chop roughly 

Heat the oil in a pan then add the cumin seeds, and when they start to sizzle, as the broccoli and all of the ground spices and cook for a few minutes

Leave this to cool whilst making the dough..

Mix together the flour, oil and salt, and add enough water to bring together a dough. It should be soft and not sticky, knead it for a few minutes, then place it in a covered bowl for 15-20 minutes

To put the breads together, I split the dough into 6 portions, and on a floured surface, rolled them into a ball and rolled them out into as much a round as I could

I then placed a heaped tablespoon of the broccoli mixture in the middle of the dough and brought the dough together around it like a parcel, then rolled the breads out again. 

(I could probably have done with chopping the broccoli mixture up finer as it broke through the dough in lots of places) 

I floured them and placed them on a plate ready to cook

I heated my tawa, you can use a wide flat frying pan, to a medium heat, then placed the bread into the pan.

Once the surface started to bubble, I daubed the top of the bread with rapeseed oil using a pastry brush, then turned it over to cook the other side. I then daubed the new side with some more oil, and once both sides had some healthy brown spots on, I placed them on a kitchen towel and wrapped them up in a tea towel whilst I cooked the rest of the rounds and until we were ready to eat 

  See what I mean..they’re not very round and not very even, but they tasted good! 

I enjoyed these with a special friend that I made lunch for on Friday, along with with a collection of dips that I’d made, plus the leftover salad and broccoli crumb from my previous post. 

 Red pepper and sriracha homous, mutabal with Aleppo chilli flakes, roasted broccoli & garlic homous, homous with my broccoli crumb, chermoula pimped goats cheese and the rest of my toasted broccoli crumb, all sitting pretty on a beautiful olive wood board gifted to me by the lovely Linda from La Petite Paniere, who I was recently extremely lucky to meet up with in London.  

Later that evening I heated the last couple of parathas in the oven and added some cheese to the top to make a quick pizzette and took this very quick photo of it, which has turned out to be the most popular photo I’ve ever posted on Instagram!!! How curious is that?  It was very tasty though! 

Making your recipes..

 Me cooking cauliflower is nothing new, you’ve seen me share many cauliflower recipes, and I roast cauliflower several times a week, but when I saw Lizs post including her pan roasted cauliflower steaks, I knew it would become a new way of cooking cauliflower in my kitchen. I’ve pan cooked cauliflower before, but not as whole ‘steaks’ like this and it was great – and so pretty! 

I enjoyed it with some lovely creamy homous – again, something I make regularly, but this time, I followed Jhuls ‘easy microwave homous’. This was a new method for me to try and involves peeling the chickpeas first, which was fine, except that the tin that I opened held the smallest (and most yellow!) chickpeas I have ever seen!!!! So of course, there was loads of them! But peel them I then microwave them briefly, which shows up just how many skins you’ve missed, and so the peeling continues…

  The method generates a lovely creamy dip and I’m so glad I tried it, and definely recommend it. 

I also served it with sprinkled sumac, toasted flaked almonds and chopped parsley. 

I also made a new spice mix recently; I follow Tanvee on Instagram and her lovely blog, and she told me about Kitchen King Masala, a spice mix used widely in India. You know me, I always like a new spice mix, and I loved making this one too..

 All ready to toast..

I ground this all up and have been using it ever since 🙂 

I have also made the Cajun spice mix from Mollies blog, which the blogs have liked on their chicken and in their quesadillas. And Andreas honey chipotle chicken, another winner with the boys – and eaten far too quickly for me to photograph. Trupti’s spinach dal was also very tasty – but again, no photo, sorry!! Visit Trupti’s blog for the details. 

And finally…more stuffed baby aubergines, this time following Prachi’s recipe..I experimented with purple baby aubergines and little green round Thai aubergines.. 

 Going in


 Coming out (they never look as pretty but they sure taste good!) 

 Such great flavours 🙂  

Pictured here with some of an aubergine quinoa bake I recently devised (more about soon). 

I do love making so many of your recipes – thank you for the inspiration x 

A vegetarian ‘mujaddrah’ inspired lentil & quinoa dish..

 “Mujaddrah” is a typical Lebanese dish made with lentils and rice and topped with caremalised onions. It’s something I’ve wanted to make for a while, but as I started to do so, mine evolved into something else with more ingredients in it…I’ve read several versions of the recipes, some with spices and some without, and I used these various recipes as my inspiration, as well as my own ideas for pimping it, when I made this dish, which turned out really tasty, although not that colourful to photograph! 


250g green lentils, washed, soaked overnight and cooked as per instructions on the pack 

100g quinoa, uncooked

3 red onions, thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 medium aubergines, cubed

2tbsp olive oil plus more to drizzle over aubergine 

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp ground coriander

1/4tsp cayenne pepper

1tsp ras el hanout

Salt to taste

Water as needed

Lemon juice to serve 


Heat the oven to 200C, drizzle a little olive oil over the chopped up aubergine and roast for 25-30 minutes until nicely cooked through, then take out and keep to one side until you need them 

Heat oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds

Cook on their own for a brief time until the pub start to sizzle then add the sliced onions 

Cooked them over the medium heat for 10-15 minutes until they start to caremalise and get all lovely 

(If you were making Mujaddrah this is when you would remove some of the onions from the pan to save for later to garnish the dish but I forgot to do that for my dish!)

Add the garlic after about 10 minutes and give it a chance to cook without getting burnt 

Add the roasted aubergine cubes and all of the spices and stir them all through 

Cook together for 2-3 minutes

Add then lentils and again stir through and cook together for a few minutes but don’t let lentils break down

Add the quinoa, stir it in and add 100ml water – you may feel that you want to add a bit more, but don’t overdo it – I used my quinoa cooking method here which is 1:1 ratio of uncooked quinoa:water plus there will be moisture in the pan from the vegetables and this is a good way of soaking some of that up 

Bring the pan to the boil and turn down the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes

Turn off heat, and leave with lid on and allow the steam to finish cooking quinoa

And serve!

I ate mine with a handful of cashews that I’d roasted myself. I also enjoyed it again the next day by heating a portion in a frying pan with some olive oil and added some nuts in at the same time. 
Happy Weekend! I hope the partygoers at Fiesta Friday like my dish 🙂 

Red lentil dahl and an experimental gluten free flatbread…


Having recently had fun with spices that I purchased from Spice Kitchen and throughly enjoying their curry paste/marinade recipe, I have been chatting to Sanjay from the company and asked him what he and his Mum, Shashi, would feed me if they took part in my ‘What would you feed me?‘ series..he sent over this red lentil dahl recipe of his Mum’s and is very happy for me to share it with you. 

Firstly, meet Sanjay and Shashi from Spice Kitchen…I love these photos; theirs is a new company, with an online shop and social enterprise, and the whole family is working together to build it and share their love of high quality hand blended and home ground Indian spices…’always sold with love’…


So, onto the recipe..


Red lentil dahl

Ingredients – for the lentils 

200g red lentils

750ml water (approx)

1tsp salt

For the masala

1tbsp ghee or vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

1tsp cumin seeds

1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)

1 clove chopped garlic

2 chopped tomatoes (in the absence of fresh tomatoes, I used 2tbsp tomato purée) 

1tsp ginger, grated

1tsp turmeric

1 chilli, finely chopped

1tsp fenugreek leaves

1tsp garam masala

Handful coriander 



1. Wash the lentils throughly, ideally leaving them to soak. When the water runs clear you know the lentils have been washed properly.

2. Place the lentils in a pan with the salt, cover with the water and bring to the boil. 

3. Remove the froth if there is any, reduce the heat and put the lid on the pan – leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Check the lentils are cooked by squeezing them between your fingers. Once soft remove from the heat. 

4. In a frying pan heat the oil or butter.

5. Add the cumin, onion, chilli and gsrlic and fry until lightly browned. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, ginger, turmeric and fenugreek. Gently let the ingredients cook down for about 10 minutes to make a thick masala paste.

6. Add the masala paste in the frying pan to the lentils. It should have the consistency of a thick soup but if it’s too thick just add a little boiling water and remove from the heat. If you prefer it thicker just leave it on the heat to reduce until you get the consistency you want.

7. Check the seasoning and add a little salt if required. Stir in the garam masala and coriander. Add extra chilli powder if needed. 


I ate this across two days, and, as is often the case, the flavour had developed even more by day two. I ate it with some roasted cauliflower and a ‘flatbread’ that I had had an idea about whilst walking Bob!  

The ‘flatbread’ was basically, a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt mixed with almond flour, coconut flour and gluten free baking powder to make a dough, then cooked on a tawa over a medium heat until cooked through. It’s definitely a success in the making…this first attempt held together quite well in parts, but not as a whole. As you can imagine, I’ll be working on it! It tasted good though 🙂 

I hope you like the recipe and enjoy meeting the face behind the Spice Kitchen – please note – I have not been paid or recompensed for the post in any way. 

I am bringing my red lentil dahl and flatbread to this week’s Fiesta Friday – yes, it’s that time, let you hair down and join the party (that’s a bit hard for me with so little hair, but I’m sure some of you can make up for me!!!) – this week co hosted by the fabulous Jhuls and Justine, both great ladies,with great blogs. Have fun! 

A couple of shots from my week to make you smile.. Enjoy xx