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Curried lentil bowls

RECIPE: Curried lentil bowls

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This recipe is for a warming lentil bowl that is built on a solid base of protein, complex carbohydrates and dark leafy greens with all the necessary trimmings. 

The curried lentils alone will become a staple in your weekly diet and can be put on top of a pile of brown rice, added to sandwiches or warmed and used as a dip with some flatbread or corn chips.

Lentils should be part of everyone’s weekly diet. They are quick to prepare and easy to use making them a wonderful ingredient for every type of cook. 

Physically they might be small, but nutritionally they are undoubtedly one of the healthiest foods we can eat. That’s because lentils are packed full of fibre, and we know that’s great to improve heart health, stabilise blood sugar and help keep your digestive system healthy. In fact, one cup of lentils provides over half of your daily insoluble and soluble fibre needs. 

They are also a good source of B-vitamins, iron and folate as well as being a great way to get in some plant-based protein. 

This recipe takes lentils to a new place and was inspired by The Minimalist Baker’s 1-pot dahl. Using a ready-made curry paste means these lentils are quick and simple to prepare but they still pack a punch of flavour making them the perfect mid-week recipe when time is short but nourishment needs are high. Look for a good quality red curry paste with only natural ingredients at your local food store or supermarket. 

Get your pumpkin roasting, the lentils on the stove and quietly prepare the rest of the ingredients to build one of the most nourishing, delicious and exciting bowls for yourself or your loved ones. 

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Serves 4


Roast pumpkin

  • 1kg pumpkin, cut into 8 large chunks
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • A generous pinch of salt and pepper

Curried lentils

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • A knob of ginger (about 2x2cm), minced
  • 4 tbsp of red curry paste or other favourite curry paste
  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp mild or hot curry powder
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Juice of ½ a lemon

Crispy tofu

  • 350g firm organic tofu, patted dry and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

For the bowl

  • 100g baby spinach
  • A handful of roughly torn coriander
  • 4 tbsp plain coconut yoghurt or plain yoghurt mixed with a small pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 small red hot chilli, de-seeded and thinly sliced

How to make

  • Heat your oven to 180 degrees and place your chunks of pumpkin on a lined baking tray. Drizzle them with the melted coconut oil, salt and pepper and then place in the oven to roast for around 40 minutes or until they are golden and soft (it will slightly vary depending on the size of your chunks)
  • While your pumpkin is roasting you can make the lentils. On your stovetop, in a large lidded pot, heat the coconut oil on a medium heat and add the shallot and garlic, sautéing them for 5 minutes until they are both soft. If they start to brown or burn, turn the heat down. Then, add the curry paste to the pot, stirring and cooking it for another 2 minutes followed by the lentils, coconut milk, water, curry powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Bring the lentils to the boil and then turn it down to a gentle simmer, place the lid on and leave them to cook for 30 minutes
  • To make the tofu, heat the coconut oil in a frypan over a medium-high heat. Mix the cornflour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper together in a bowl and then toss your tofu cubes in the cornflour mix until they are all well coated. Add them to the frypan and cook them for around 5 minutes, tossing them routinely to ensure all sides of the cubes go golden
  • When your pumpkin, lentils and tofu are done you can assemble your bowls. Divide the spinach between four bowls, add the pumpkin chunks as well as the tofu, then pour over the hot lentils. Add a tablespoon of yoghurt to each bowl and garnish with the coriander and sliced red chilli. Enjoy!

Roberta's tips

  • The lentils will last in the fridge for up to 5 days as will the pumpkin. Alternatively, you can freeze the curried lentils for one months and build your bowls as you go

Roberta of Naturo Medico is a Naturopathic Practitioner who specialises in preventative care and women’s health. From her Melbourne-based clinic, Roberta sees women of all ages wanting to meet their own health goals and assists them on their path with personalised treatments specific to their needs.

Alongside practice, Roberta shares healthful and nutrient-rich recipes with her readers who inspire her to continue educating on what health and wellbeing means and how it can be achieved.

Follow @naturomedico on Instagram for more healthy eating inspiration!