Deliciously tasty, the lentils give a very nice think consistency to the sauce
2 stars anise
150 g basmati rice
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch of coriander
50 g salted peanuts
50 g tomato puree
50 grams red split lentils
200 ml coconut milk
200 ml water for curry
1 cube of vegetable stock
100 g baby spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil
265 ml water for rice
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Pour the water for the rice into a saucepan and bring to the boil. When boiling, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, star anise, stir in the rice, lower the heat to medium and pop a lid on the pan. Leave to cook for 10 mins, then remove the pan from the heat (still covered) and leave to the side for another 10 mins or until ready to serve (the rice will continue to cook in its own steam).
Peel and trim the aubergine then halve lengthways. Chop each half into four long strips, then chop widthways in half. Pop the aubergine onto a large baking tray in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of curry powder. Toss to coat and roast the aubergine until golden brown and soft, 25-30 mins. Turn halfway through cooking.
Halve, peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and crush the garlic with a garlic press. Trim and peel the carrot, then quarter lengthways. Chop widthways into small pieces. Roughly chop the coriander with the stalks. Zest the lime and chop into wedges. Chop up the peanuts as finely as you can.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a medium sauce pan on a medium high heat. When hot, add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 7-8 mins. Add the remaining curry powder, tomato puree, garlic and lentils and cook for 1 minute stirring frequently. Add the coconut milk, water and veg stock. Stir to combine and simmer until the lentils are cooked, 20-25 mins.
Add the spinach to the curry and cook 2-3 mins. If the curry is a bit thick add a touch of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove the star anise from the rice and fluff with a fork. Share the rice between your bowls and top with the curry. Top with the roasted aubergine pieces.
In a small bowl, combine the chopped peanuts, lime zest, coriander and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle over the whole dish and serve with a lime wedge along side for squeezing over.