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Black lentil & chickpea stew

A beautiful recipe full of Middle-Eastern flavour, that is so simple to assemble in one pan and leave it simmering away. Black lentils are one of my favourite legumes to cook with as they hold their shape creating a creamy texture that still has a good bite to it. They are also one of the most nutritionally rich lentils, packed with fibre, protein and low calories.

On it's own, this makes such a warm and hearty dish to pack in your nutrients, but it can be served with rice, cous cous or another grain. I love this with tahini and yoghurt swirled through at the end but it is just as delicious on it's own or served with a minty tzatziki or homous on the side.

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

1 red onion, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

200g / 1 cup black lentils, rinsed in cold water

1 can chickpeas

1 can chopped tomatoes

500ml/2 cups veg stock

1/2 cup frozen peas

Handful of baby spinach

1 lemon, sliced in wedges to serve

Serve with tahini, yoghurt or homous

1. Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes or until softened and caramelised. Add the garlic, tomato paste and spices and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.

2. Add the black lentils and chickpeas. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and veg stock. Bring to a simmer for 30-35 minutes until the lentils are cooked through, stirring occasionally to stop them from sticking. Add a little water if it seems too dry.

3. When the lentils are cooked, add the frozen peas to thaw out in the heat and lastly, add the spinach to gently wilt through.

4. Add half of the lemon juice and taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir through the tahini or yoghurt if using and serve with the remaining lemon wedges.

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