Bunny chow with coconut lentil curry

I admit – I’m completely in love with Mediterranean Delicacies. For my first week of being vegan, I feel I lived completely off their jalapeño hummus and toasted pita bread. So, when they approached me to develop a recipe using one of their products, I jumped at the opportunity.

As delicious as it may be, sadly hummus and pita bread does not qualify as a recipe, so I needed to do a bit more thinking around a dish that encompassed their #afrochic theme. After craving a good curry for a few weeks, I decided to make it happen – packed with lentils, aubergine and courgettes, in a fragrant coconut milk sauce. Working with the theme, I turned a simply curry into a twist on Durban’s favourite bunny chow – and because our country is such a melting pot of cuisine and culture, I added a little salsa on top, to give freshness and crunch.

I made mine into snack or starter-sized portions, by cutting the baguette into slightly thinner slices, but you can use any size or shape loaf you choose. I added the jalapeños to the curry itself, and to the salsa – feel free to adjust the quantity, depending on your desired levels of heat. I sliced the whole jalapeño, including the seeds, as I like a little spice. I’d recommend also not rinsing them before use, as the tangy, spicy brining liquid adds an extra dimension to both the curry and salsa.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the curry:
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala (or any mild, yellow curry powder)
1 tbsp flavourless vegetable or coconut oil
1 tin lentils, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, finely diced
4 Mediterranean Delicacies Green Jalapeño Chillies, roughly chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely diced
1 medium aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes
4 large courgettes, cut into 1cm chunks
1 tin tomatoes
approximately 300ml water
125ml – 250ml coconut milk
handful fresh coriander
salt and sugar to taste

For the salsa:
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 large spring onions, finely diced
2 Mediterranean Delicacies Green Jalapeño Chillies, roughly chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sugar, to taste

To serve:
1 baguette, cut into 5cm rounds

Method:

Place a large non-stick pot on a medium-high heat, and add the oil, garlic and onion. Fry until softened. Add the aubergine and courgettes, and fry until starting to colour. Add the spices and chilli and stir for a minute, until well-distributed in the pot. Add the tin of tomatoes and just enough water so that the vegetables are covered. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and allow to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce and reduced and thickened – approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Add the lentils, coriander and as much coconut milk as you choose. Taste and season with salt and sugar, as required.

While the curry is cooking, stir together all the ingredients for the salsa, and set aside. To assemble, gently make little wells in the slices of baguette with your fingers, for the curry to sit in. As the bread will likely be soft, there’s no need to remove the insides, simply press it to the sides and bottom, ensuring that there is at least 1cm of bread at the base. To assemble, place approximately 2 generous tablespoons of curry in each slice of baguette and top with the salsa. Enjoy immediately.

This post was sponsored by Mediterranean Delicacies.

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