Spiced lentils with crispy rotis and garlic yoghurt

Serves Starters and mains

Spiced lentil rotis garlic yoghurt



  • vegetable or rapeseed oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 2 x 400g cans cooked lentils (preferably green), drained
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • pinch chaat masala, to serve (optional)
  • 2 roti flatbreads, halved and cut into triangles

For the salad

  • 2 big handfuls rocket or watercress
  • large handful coriander leaves
  • 120g fennel, finely diced, and any fronds chopped
  • 2 bushy mint sprigs, leaves only, torn if large
  • 3tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1tbsp finely chopped red chilli

For the temper

  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 8 curry leaves, torn

For the garlic yoghurt

  • 6 heaped tbsp thick natural
  • or Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste


For the garlic yoghurt, stir the ingredients together until smooth and set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a wide frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion and sauté, stirring often, for 8–10 minutes until beginning to brown. Add the lentils, chilli flakes, garam masala and turmeric and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and the spices are fragrant. Remove from the heat, season with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice and keep warm.

Wipe out the frying pan, set over a medium heat and pour in vegetable oil to a depth of 5mm. When hot (but not smoking hot), add the roti triangles and fry until golden, turning once. Don’t let them get too dark or they will taste bitter. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.

Carefully spoon most of the oil out of the frying pan (you can save it to use again) and return it to the heat to make the temper. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and cook until the mustard seeds pop and crackle. Remove from the heat.

For the salad, arrange the rocket or watercress, coriander and fennel on a large platter or individual plates, spoon over the spiced lentils and arrange the fried roti on top. Spoon the yoghurt over, sprinkle the remaining herbs and the chopped chilli over, then drizzle the temper on top, being careful not to make the salad too oily. Serve immediately.

Recipes and photographs taken from LEON Big Salads by Rebecca Seal, photography by Steven Joyce (Conran, £20).
Spiced lentil rotis garlic yoghurt
Recipes and photographs taken from LEON Big Salads by Rebecca Seal, photography by Steven Joyce (Conran, £20).


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