It may not look all that flash – a mangle of red, with the eggs setting in the hot tomato and capsicum sauce – but the flavours are robust, wonderful and worth getting out of bed for... or getting out of bed to make, if you’re the cook of the house.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, peeled, finely chopped
- 1 small red capsicum, halved, sliced
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 400 g (about 2 large) tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp dried mint
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- warm pita bread, to serve
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
- 200 g (1 cup) green lentils
- 1 cinnamon quill
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make lentils, heat oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, celery and chilli, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add lentils, cinnamon and 750ml water, and cook, covered, for 35 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm. While the lentils are cooking, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion and capsicum, stirring often for 6 minutes or until onion starts to colour and capsicum goes really soft; reduce the heat if necessary. Add cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and mint, season with salt and pepper, and cook for a further 10 minutes, adding a splash of water if necessary. (You want the sauce to be thick, but not as thick as porridge by the end.)
When ready to serve, bring the capsicum mixture to a simmer and stir in the egg. Continue stirring as the egg thickens the mix slightly but don’t over-stir or overcook.
Spoon the lentils onto plates with some capsicum and egg mixture, and serve with warm pita bread.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 15, pg38.
Photography by Alan Benson