Nothing takes the chill out of a winter evening like a bowl of steaming, spicy Mexican-flavoured lentils. And it's full of other yummy magic foods like capsicums, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, kidney beans and coriander. Serve it with rice or in burritos, soft-shell tacos and enchiladas.
Patsy Jamieson, Diane Temple
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder (see Cook's tip)
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 small red capsicum (sweet pepper), diced
1 small green capsicum (sweet pepper), diced
200 g mushrooms, chopped
400-g can tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup reduced-salt vegetable stock
400-g can lentils, drained and rinsed
400-g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
low-GI rice or basmati rice, to serve
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Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until onion has softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, spices, oregano, capsicums and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and stock. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until carrot is cooked and sauce has reduced a little. Add lentils, kidney beans and black pepper and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir through coriander. Serve with rice. Leftovers will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat on stovetop or in microwave.
• This amount of chilli powder is a very mild amount—suitable for children. Add more if you like a chilli hit. • Mexican chilli powder is a spice blend of dried chiles, Mexican oregano, cumin, coriander and cloves.