This is a filling vegan dinner for four people. It takes its inspiration from centuries-old kitchari or khichdi, which is a traditionally Indian dish of slow-cooked rice and lentils. We’ve added roast squash, coconut yogurt and a squeeze of lime to this comforting dish.
- 500g butternut squash or pumpkin, cut into wedges
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 130g basmati rice
- 200g split red lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 tsp medium chilli powder (to taste)
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock (gluten free if need be)
- 200g spinach leaves
- Yogurt, chilli flakes and lime wedges to serve (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180ºC fan/gas 6. Toss the squash on a baking tray with 1 tbsp of the oil and some salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, tip the rice and lentils into a sieve and rinse under cold water for a few minutes or until the water turns from cloudy to clear.
- Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan, add the onion and a pinch of salt and fry over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and spices, then cook for 1 minute. Stir in the lentils, rice and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook over a low-medium heat, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring regularly. Add a splash more water if it starts to thicken too much.
- Stir the spinach into the rice and let it wilt for a couple of minutes. Season to taste, then share among bowls, top with the squash/pumpkin and, if you like, serve with yogurt, chilli flakes and lime wedges for squeezing