This beautiful aromatic flavour punching curry is truly amazing, and once you have mastered the basic steps, I guarantee this will replace your Friday night takeaway.

Packed full of healthy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and spicy enough to complement the other mouth exploding flavours that we all love from Indian food.

The perfect thing about this recipe is that it can be made days ahead, actually I recommend it!! A home-made curry is always better the next day as all those wonderful flavours continue to strengthen and infuse.

This is a perfect recipe to serve with baked Pilaf rice and if you're a meat eater why not try a few grilled chicken strips and lay across the top, finishing with yogurt.

I have used a butter alternative to start my curry, a plant based vegan butter works really well but if you're not vegan I would defiantly recommend Ghee or normal butter.

This is what I would call a basic Balti style sauce which can hold any type of vegetable or meat.

Once you have mastered the paste and sauce part, honestly you can create anything, this paste is a perfect starting point for a lot of Indian recipes.

A personal favourite of ours is to add Prawns in at the end.

Happy cooking!

AuthorJustin GillamCategory, , , , DifficultyIntermediate

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time25 minsCook Time1 hr 35 minsTotal Time2 hrs

Puree
 50 g Fresh ginger
 50 g Fresh garlic
 50 ml Vegetable oil
Paste
 200 g Vegan butter, plant based
 2 Red chillies
 4 Onions, small diced
 6 Tomatoes, small diced
 2 Red peppers, small diced
 3 tbsp Mild curry powder
 2 tsp Cumin, ground
 2 Cardamom pods/ opened for seeds
 2 tsp Paprika
Potatoes and lentils
 500 g Potatoes diced
 1 tsp Turmeric
 200 g Puy lentil
To finish
 2 pt Vegetable stock/vegetable stock cube/homemade
 100 g Broccoli
 Fresh coriander
 Spinach

1

Puree the ginger and garlic into a smooth paste in your blender, using enough vegetable oil to allow movement in the blender.

2

In a heavy based pan or large saucepan melt the vegan butter, add the pureed ginger and garlic and lightly cook for 10 mins, the smell will be amazing!

Add the tomatoes, peppers, onions and chillies. This is going to be the base of the sauce and will need to be cooked down slowly on a low heat for about 45 minutes. It's important to stir every 10-12 minutes and if you think it is getting dry add 1/3 cup of vegetable stock as this will help to stop the paste sticking and the stock will help break down the fibers as it reduces.

The paste is done when the vegetables have all broken down and turned almost into a purée.

3

Whilst the paste is slowly cooking start working on the next couple of sections.

Place the puy lentils in to a pan of cold water and bring to a boil, this will remove any scum and dirt, drain and place back into the saucepan and cover with cold water again. Bring back up to the boil and simmer until lightly cooked, the lentils need to still have a light bite to them otherwise they will turn to mush when finished in the Balti sauce.

4

Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 inch cubes, place in a saucepan of salted water with 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric (I used thinly sliced fresh turmeric but powdered is just as good). Bring to the boil and gently simmer for 8-10 minutes, again do not over cook because they will finish cooking in the Balti sauce (try removing one piece from the pan and cutting it with a small knife, there should be a bit of resistance but soft enough to slice through without too much pressure.)

When the potatoes are ready, drain in to a colander and leave to air dry for later (as they're cooling the extra moisture will continue to evaporate, leaving them firmer).

5

Add the dry spices to the paste and continue to cook on a low heat for 15 minutes, this will allow those aromatic flavours to wake up and infuse. Add the vegetable stock, lentils and potatoes, give a good stir then turn the heat down and gently simmer.

During this stage the potatoes and lentils will finish cooking, absorbing the excess liquid and will slowly leave you with a thickened Curry sauce. If it still seems a little loose and watery continue to simmer, reducing the stock/liquid.

6

Wash the spinach in cold water, break down the broccoli into medium size florets and roughly chop the coriander (including the stalks). Add to the potatoes and lentils simmering in the curry sauce, place a lid on top and gently steam until the broccoli is tender and cooked.

That's it, its ready to go

7

A little tip...

Towards the end of the final cooking stage the oils will rise to the top, this is a great way of knowing the sauce is reduced enough and your curry is ready.

Ingredients

Puree
 50 g Fresh ginger
 50 g Fresh garlic
 50 ml Vegetable oil
Paste
 200 g Vegan butter, plant based
 2 Red chillies
 4 Onions, small diced
 6 Tomatoes, small diced
 2 Red peppers, small diced
 3 tbsp Mild curry powder
 2 tsp Cumin, ground
 2 Cardamom pods/ opened for seeds
 2 tsp Paprika
Potatoes and lentils
 500 g Potatoes diced
 1 tsp Turmeric
 200 g Puy lentil
To finish
 2 pt Vegetable stock/vegetable stock cube/homemade
 100 g Broccoli
 Fresh coriander
 Spinach

Directions

1

Puree the ginger and garlic into a smooth paste in your blender, using enough vegetable oil to allow movement in the blender.

2

In a heavy based pan or large saucepan melt the vegan butter, add the pureed ginger and garlic and lightly cook for 10 mins, the smell will be amazing!

Add the tomatoes, peppers, onions and chillies. This is going to be the base of the sauce and will need to be cooked down slowly on a low heat for about 45 minutes. It's important to stir every 10-12 minutes and if you think it is getting dry add 1/3 cup of vegetable stock as this will help to stop the paste sticking and the stock will help break down the fibers as it reduces.

The paste is done when the vegetables have all broken down and turned almost into a purée.

3

Whilst the paste is slowly cooking start working on the next couple of sections.

Place the puy lentils in to a pan of cold water and bring to a boil, this will remove any scum and dirt, drain and place back into the saucepan and cover with cold water again. Bring back up to the boil and simmer until lightly cooked, the lentils need to still have a light bite to them otherwise they will turn to mush when finished in the Balti sauce.

4

Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 inch cubes, place in a saucepan of salted water with 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric (I used thinly sliced fresh turmeric but powdered is just as good). Bring to the boil and gently simmer for 8-10 minutes, again do not over cook because they will finish cooking in the Balti sauce (try removing one piece from the pan and cutting it with a small knife, there should be a bit of resistance but soft enough to slice through without too much pressure.)

When the potatoes are ready, drain in to a colander and leave to air dry for later (as they're cooling the extra moisture will continue to evaporate, leaving them firmer).

5

Add the dry spices to the paste and continue to cook on a low heat for 15 minutes, this will allow those aromatic flavours to wake up and infuse. Add the vegetable stock, lentils and potatoes, give a good stir then turn the heat down and gently simmer.

During this stage the potatoes and lentils will finish cooking, absorbing the excess liquid and will slowly leave you with a thickened Curry sauce. If it still seems a little loose and watery continue to simmer, reducing the stock/liquid.

6

Wash the spinach in cold water, break down the broccoli into medium size florets and roughly chop the coriander (including the stalks). Add to the potatoes and lentils simmering in the curry sauce, place a lid on top and gently steam until the broccoli is tender and cooked.

That's it, its ready to go

7

A little tip...

Towards the end of the final cooking stage the oils will rise to the top, this is a great way of knowing the sauce is reduced enough and your curry is ready.

Slow cooked balti style curry with puy lentils, turmeric potatoes, ginger and garlic