Lentil and Vegetable Curry

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  • ½ lb (225 g) runner beans, stringed and sliced
  • ½ lb (225 g) potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, scraped and sliced
  • ½ lb (225 g) cauliflower, separated into small florets
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground)
  • 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
  • 12 oz (350g) brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • ½ pint (275 ml) natural yoghurt
  • 1 rounded tablespoon tomato puree
  • Salt
  • ½-3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Blanch the beans, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower by placing them in a pan containing 13/4 pints (1 litre) of boiling, salted water.
  2. Cover and cook gently for 6 minutes, then drain, reserving the water. Now heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until softened.
  3. Then stir in the turmeric, coriander, cumin seeds, ginger and garlic, followed by the lentils, and stir until everything is thoroughly combined before pouring in the reserved vegetable water. Now bring to the boil, cover and cook gently for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender.
  4. Next add the blanched vegetables to the lentil mixture along with the yoghurt, tomato puree and just ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Stir well, and try to push all the vegetables below the surface of the liquid. Now bring to simmering point, cover and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.
  5. Taste and add a further ¼ teaspoon of cayenne, if you prefer a hotter flavour, and season with salt. Serve with rice.