- 1¼ cups (245 g) French–style green (puy) lentils, rinsed
- 2½ tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, about 200 g, very thinly sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes, about 400 g each
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 200 g macaroni
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley
- salt and pepper
- Put the lentils in a heavy–based saucepan and pour in enough water to cover them by 7.
- 5 cm.
- Bring to the boil and boil vigorously for about 10 minutes, skimming the surface as necessary.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 30–40 minutes or until tender.
- Drain well and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non–stick frying pan over a high heat.
- Add the onion and stir to coat with the oil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar, increase the heat and continue cooking, stirring, until the onion becomes dark brown and crisp.
- Immediately pour onto paper towel to drain, and set aside.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, stirring.
- Stir in the turmeric and continue frying for a further 30 seconds.
- Pour in the tomatoes with their juice and add a pinch of sugar.
- Bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens a little.
- Season to taste.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan.
- Stir in the cumin, ground coriander and cayenne pepper, and fry for about 30 seconds, stirring.
- Add the lentils and stir in seasoning to taste.
- Keep warm over a very low heat.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
- Drain well.
- Spoon the pasta onto a serving platter, and top with the spiced lentils and the tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and top with the crisp onions.
- Serve at once.
Preparation: 10-15 minutes
Cooking: about 1 hour