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Curried lentil and vegetable pilaf

By using some supermarket convenience foods, such as ready-prepared vegetables, and ginger and garlic bottled in oil, this dish can be on the table in half an hour. It makes a one-dish vegetarian meal that is rich in protein, starchy carbohydrate and other essential nutrients.

Curried lentil and vegetable pilaf


  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 1 litre vegetable stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon bottled chopped ginger in oil, drained
  • 1 teaspoon bottled chopped garlic in oil, drained
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup (200 g) basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup (185 g) red lentils
  • 500 g prepared mixed vegetables, such as carrots, beans, broccoli and cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh coriander or parsley to garnish

To serve

  • 2 bananas finely grated 
  • zest of 1 lime
  • lime juice to taste


  1. Pour the coconut milk and stock into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over a moderate heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or frying pan with a lid. Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry over a moderately high heat until they begin to sizzle and give off their aroma. 
  3. Stir in the ground coriander, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the rice, lentils and vegetables. Pour in the coconut-flavoured stock and stir to mix everything together. 
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, without removing the lid, until the rice and lentils are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Just before the pilaf finishes cooking, slice the bananas into a bowl. Add the lime zest and sprinkle over lime juice to taste.
  7. When the pilaf is ready, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and fluff up the rice with a fork. 
  8. Sprinkle with chopped coriander or parsley and serve at once, with the bananas.

Serves 4
Preparation: About 30 minutes

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