Berbere recipe

Berbere-spiced lentils with

roast butternut squash (V)

Our Organic Berbere spice blend is inspired by the spicy dishes of Ethiopia rather than the milder, often spice-free cooking of the Moroccan Berberes. It’s mixed here with French puy lentils and roast butternut squash to create a wholesome and filling vegetarian dish.  Berbere spice blend has a similar heat to a medium Indian curry.  If you prefer less heat, reduce the amount of spice in the recipe by 1tbsp.  Or if you prefer no heat, replace the Berbere with 2 tbsp of Pinch Organic Ras el Hanout for a mild, fragrant alternative - Serves 4


Ingredients

For the butternut squash

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 medium butternut squash (800-900g) peeled and chopped in 2cm pieces

For the lentils

  • 250g puy lentils
  • 400 ml vegetable stock

For the Berbere sauce

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Pinch Organic Berbere spice blend
  • 4 large tomatoes skinned and chopped
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bunch of chopped parsley to serve


Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. 

Put the butternut squash on a baking tray, add the oil and toss well so that all the pieces are coated.  Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the lentils in a pot with double the volume of hot vegetable stock (approx 400ml).  Bring to the boil and then simmer until the lentils are ‘al dente’, which should take around 20 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

While the butternut squash is roasting and the lentils are simmering, heat rapeseed or olive oil in a pan over a medium heat.  Add the onions and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until the onions are soft and golden.  Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, then sprinkle over the Berbere spice blend and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to make sure the spices coat the onions.  Add the chopped tomatoes and allow to bubble very slightly for 5-6 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.

At this stage, add the drained lentils and roast butternut squash to the pan with 150ml of vegetable stock.  Mix the ingredients together, being careful not to break up the butternut squash.  Check the seasoning (some vegetable stock already contains salt), and adjust to taste.  Put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes to allow all of the flavours to come together.

This is a hearty dish that needs no accompaniments, except possibly some bread to mop up the spicy juices.  It serves 4 generous portions as a main course, and would serve 6 or more as a side dish.

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