Beetroot, lentils, garam masala


With that beautiful beetroot picture posted by Clem on social media last Friday, how could this week’s recipe not feature the beets. This one is from Nigel Slater’s lovely little book, Greenfeast autumn, winter. Yep, we’ve properly started autumn… a gorgeous season if you have the pleasure of working with fresh produce.

As a meal, this is an all-time favourite. Don’t be tempted to omit the chilli-hot fried onions – they absolutely pull the dish together!


  • Cooked beetroot 250g
  • Large onion
  • Olive oil 3tbsp
  • Garlic 2 or 3 cloves
  • Chilli flakes 2 tsp (or more if you like it hot)
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • Veg stock 800ml
  • Split red/orange lentils 300g
  • Butter 50g
  • Garam masala 4 tsp
  • Natural/Greek yogurt 4 tbsp


  1. Peel the onion and slice into rings. Pour oil into shallow pan, add the onions, then fry to a deep golden brown – a good 20 mins – stirring from time to time.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the garlic, adding it to the onions halfway through cooking. Stir in the chilli flakes and mustard seeds and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
  3. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan, tip in the lentils, lower the heat slightly, and let them cook for 15 mins until soft.
  4. Roughly chop the cooked beetroot and fold into lentils, adding the butter and garam masala. Check seasoning, adding salt and black pepper as necessary, continue cooking for 3-4 mins.
  5. Spoon the lentil and beetroot mixture into bowls. Spoon the onion and yogurt on top, stirring each bowl thoroughly to mix the onions, mustard and chilli into the dhal as you eat.