• Olive oil for frying
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, grated (or use ground ginger)
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground tumeric
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2tsp garam masala
  • 1/4tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 270g dry red lentils
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 10-12 minutes or until they start to caramelize.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the spices and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomatos and cook until bubbling.
  • Add 950ml of water and the lentils. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  • Add the carrots, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are starting to break down and the carrots are tender. Stir in some black pepper.
  • Turn off the heat, leave to stand with the pan still covered for 15 minutes. Serve with rice.


It thickens during the period it's left to stand, so don't worry if it seems a little thin after simmering.

  • Source: First-Time Vegan, Leah Vanderveldt