Think you can’t make an authentic Indian curry in under 30 minutes? Think again! Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar has a whole book dedicated to showing that in actual fact you can. Here we share his recipe for a Goan spinach and lentil curry
We love this Atul Kochhar recipe because the ingredients are fresh and local, meaning you can pick them up in the local supermarket on your way home from work. Which makes it a win win for us!
Serves 4, as a sharing dish
You will need:
50g toor lentils (split pigeon peas)
1 green chilli
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
200g baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons frozen grated coconut, plus extra to garnish
1 Bring a large covered saucepan of water to the boil and assemble all the ingredients and other equipment before you begin. You also need a sieve or colander and a wok or a large sauté or frying pan.
2 Rinse the lentils in the sieve with cold running water, then add them to the boiling water. Return the water to the boil and leave the lentils to boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until they are tender, but still holding their shape.
3 Meanwhile, remove the stalk from the green chilli, if necessary, then slice the chilli lengthways. Peel, quarter and thinly slice the onion. Halve and slice the tomato.
4 Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat in the wok. Add the mustard seeds and stir until they pop. Add the green chilli, onion and tomato with a pinch of salt, and continue stirring until the onion is softened, but not coloured. Turn the heat down and leave, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the lentils have finished cooking.
5 Meanwhile, rinse the spinach and shake off the excess water.
6 Drain the lentils, then stir them into the sauté pan. Add the spinach and frozen coconut, season with salt and stir-fry until the spinach wilts. When you take the coconut out of the freezer set aside a little extra for the garnish.
7 Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Sprinkle with a little extra coconut just before serving – it will thaw in the residual heat.
30 minute curries by Atul Kochhar (Absolute Press). Photography by Mike Cooper