I know, I know, lentil and carrot stew doesn’t sound like the most exciting recipe in the world. But trust me, this is one of my favourites. Inspired by a Turkish recipe in an old book my mum used to have, I now use this pared down and sped up version as one of my go-to meals at university. It is simple, cheap, nutritious, and totally delicious.

Ingredients (makes about 4 portions which are good to freeze, but you can easily quarter the ingredients to serve 1)

·        Olive oil

·        3 carrots, chopped

·        1 onion, chopped

·        1 can of green lentils, drained

·        ½ tsp of stock powder/cube

·        A tomato (if you have one handy)

 ½ tsp of coriander seeds (or any spice you have really! Try fennel, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika etc.)

·        Salt and pepper

·        Yoghurt (to serve)


1.     Heat some oil in the pan and add the onion, carrots and coriander seeds. Put a lid on it, and turn the heat down to soften it all off. This will be the longest bit of the cooking, so be patient if you can, but if not, a slightly crunchy carrot never killed anyone!

2.     Now add the lentils, stock powder, the tomato (if you want to) and about a quarter of a can of water. Turn the heat up a little bit and let this all cook for about 5-10 minutes so that the flavours all combine deliciously and the sauce becomes a little thicker and richer.

3.     When this is done, season well with salt and pepper to your taste.

4.     Voila! Easy as that. I like to serve mine with a big blob of yoghurt, and sometimes some kind of bread to mop it all up.

 This is a very flexible recipe and you can really add what you have or what you want to it. You can mix other vegetables in with the onion and carrot like pepper (pretty sure everyone has an old red pepper sitting in the bottom of the fridge which was on sale in Tesco), use any number of flavourings, serve it with some salad, or use a different pulse (like chickpeas, or haricot beans). Once you have made this you will see how versatile and useful a recipe it can be.

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