Lentil and Nettle Curry. Cheap. Healthy. Vibrant. Comforting. Veggie. Spicy. Tasty. Nourishing. Where on earth to start when this curry could be summed up in so many ways.
Lentil and Nettle Curry
We all need a handful of recipes for those times when the cupboards are feeling a little bare. When payday feels like a lifetime away. Or some emergency or other eats into this months grocery budget.
Well, today I’m sharing one of my frugal favourites with you! I promise it won’t taste you’re eating a bargain-basement meal as it’s packed with rich colours, punchy flavours and gorgeous texture.
You can make it as spicy as you are your family like. Extras can easily be frozen and reheated later in the week/month. Heck, you can even take it to work in a Thermos or simply ping in in the office microwave.
Lentils and Nettles
Nettles and Lentils are two of the most nutritious foods you could find.
Lentils are extremely cheap and can be bought dried and in bulk or the maximum savings, or ready to eat in cans or pouches. They’re packed with protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre, potassium, folate, iron and manganese.
Stinging nettles are free to all those that can be bothered to swap the shopping trolley for a foraging basket! Make sure you take your rubber gloves with you to protect against those little stings. It’s important to only pick in areas where you have permission, aren’t polluted by heavy traffic, sprayed for weed control or likely to have dogs peeing on them!
Pick the tips of the nettle plant, before they go to seed. Remove and use the leaves, discarding the stalk. And don’t worry, those pesky stings will instantly disappear when the nettle hots hot water.
Nettles are packed with fibre, potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium and iron along with a bunch of vitamins to boot.
Put these two foods together and you have one almighty bowl of hearty goodness!
PS If you aren’t able to forage stinging nettles where you are, feel free to swap them out with spinach instead.
Oh, and here’a s a little 2020 update – I remade this recipe using ready to eat lentils in my campervan! Here’s the video to prove it :)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1-3 chilli's depending on variety & heat required chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 150 g split red lentils
- 1 inch ginger peeled and grated
- 1 litre water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 handful nettle tops washed,stalks removed, large leaves chopped
Fry the first 4 dried spices in the oil for a few minutes to release their flavour and scent.
Add in the other main ingredients and simmer in a pan with a lid on for 40 minutes.
A few minutes before you're ready to serve, add in the salt and nettle leaves and stir through. check the seasoning at this point and add a little chilli powder if it tastes bland.
If you want to serve this as a bowl of soup as I did, keep the lid all through cooking. If however you want to serve this alongside rice, breads or perhaps a meat based main, take the lid off for the last 10 minutes or so giving the water time to evaporate and thereby thickening the curry.
Either way, it tastes gorgeous :)