This dish is really easy to make and a store cupboard classic. The only things some of you may not already have are tomato puree (32p from Aldi) and red lentils which you can get from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, University Superstore and probably loads of other places. They’re really cheap and great for bulking out dishes as well as being super high in plant based protein. I just serve this dish with a few slices of whatever bread you have lying around. Buttered (with vegan spread) is lovely but works just as well without.
1 large Carrot or 2 smaller ones
1 Pepper (any colour will do)
A handful of Green Beans/Mangetout (actually any green veg you have to hand)
A handful of Mushrooms
1 Onion (red or white)
3 cloves of Garlic
1tsp Ground Cumin
½ ts Chilli Powder
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Stock Cube
Dice the onion and fry in a large pot on a medium to high heat for 5 minutes or until it has softened and starts to caramelise, then finely chop the garlic and add this too. Once your garlic starts to gain some colour, turn down the heat.
Slice the mushrooms and chop the carrots into circles of roughly the same thickness. Dice the pepper and cut whatever green veg you have decided to go with into bite size pieces. Add the mushrooms to the pan until they begin to soften and release their moisture and then throw in the rest of the veg, stir through and put a lid on the pan.
Stir the veg regularly until it has started to soften and then add the cumin, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Boil the kettle and dissolve the stock cube in about a litre of boiling water.
This is where your own judgement comes in. Your volume of stock needs to be about double the amount of veg you have so pour stock into the pan until the veg is just covered and then the same amount again. At this point it’s going to look very liquidy. Now add your tomato puree and add two or three generous handfuls of lentils depending on how thick you want your stew to be.
Stir everything together and place a lid back on the pan, lower the heat to a minimum and let it simmer until the lentils are soft and have absorbed the runny stock. At this point you can add some fresh coriander or grind some black pepper over the top (both of which are completely optional) and there you have it.