Cooped-up Cooking


The Lazy Lentil - Day 1 of Cooped-Up Cooking

Let’s face it we all probably have a little extra time on our hands at home to cook,some of us might want to use this time to do some elaborate baking or organize our store cupboards,start using up those old legumes, whatever it might be this is a great time to work on our cooking skills at home.

I’m going to start posting recipes through-out the week that use cheap simple store cupboard ingredientsand a bit of fresh produce. I will also offer substitute suggestions because cooking is not baking andwe can have fun and substitute or swap and change things.I always like to remind folks that when cooking and following a recipe you can change certain aspects.You should try to use sense and feeling when making something; is the thickness of the sauce how you like it,does it taste bland, does it need seasoning, does it need a spicy kick or maybe a little sweetness.My hottest tip when tasting a dish before serving is to see if it needs something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar.

Recipe is courtesy of Rebel RecipesOriginal link:

Alterations by: Chef Amy 



Roast Carrot Dal (my version is with sweet potato) 6-7 carrots cut into small chunks (could be sweet potato, pumpkin etc1 tbsp olive oil1/2 tsp sea salt

For the dal1 tbsp coconut oil (or any oil)1 onion chopped1 tsp cumin seeds1 tsp fennel seeds1 tsp black mustard seeds1 tsp turmeric1 tsp ground coriander(could substitute above spices with a curry powder)4 cloves garlic sliced200g(1 cup) red lentils rinsed (or green or brown/could use tinned)800ml (3 1/4 cups) water (skip if using tinned lentils)1 tsp sea saltPinch chilli flakes1 tsp garam masala (see homemade recipe below)Carrot purée1/2 of the roast carrots100ml waterOptional Yogurt dipFor the raita;1/2 Cucumber grated1 ½ cups yogurt (any kind)4 tbsp chopped fresh mint (or 1 tsp dry)4 tbsp fresh coriander chopped (optional)2 tsp lemon juice (or lime)1 clove garlic minced1/2 tsp sea saltPinch black Pepper1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – optional

Recipe for homemade garam masala (totally optional to make yourself)2 Tbsp ground coriander1 tbsp ground cumin1/2 to 1 tsp black pepper3/4 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground cloves1/2 tsp ground cardamom1/4 tsp nutmeg

*Remember to prepare your ingredients, cutting/measuring etc before you start cooking*

For the roasted carrots1. Pre heat your oven to 400F, add the carrots on a baking tray and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 45-50 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised. Remove when cooked. Reserve half to top the dal and half to make the carrot puree.

To make the dal;1. Firstly add the oil to a large frying pan, add in the onion and fry for approx 8-10 minutes on a low to medium heat until soft and browning.2. Now add the spices and garlic and stir for a minute or so.3. Now add the lentils and water. Stir well then turn down the heat, simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.4. Blitz half the carrots with the water in a food processor/blender or using a stick blender until you get a chunky paste, Add to the pan with the lentils, stir to combine. Simmer for another 5 minutes.5. Season with the salt, pepper, chilli and garam masala

To make the cucumber raita:1. Grate the cucumber and pop it into a large sieve to drain over a bowl or use a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible then transfer to a large bowl2. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. It’s really nice with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

To serve1. Top with the remaining roast carrots.2. Serve with raita, fresh coriander, whole wheat naan/pita, or brown rice etc.