Spicy root & lentil casserole

Spicy root & lentil casserole

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(529 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4
The potatoes in this recipe take on the spicy flavours beautifully - our idea of the perfect veggie supper

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal378
  • fat9g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs64g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre10g
  • protein14g
  • salt1.24g
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  • 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 700g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 4 carrot, thickly sliced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 parsnip, thickly sliced



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just…

  • 2 tbsp curry paste or powder
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock
  • 100g red lentils



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • a small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • low-fat yogurt and naan bread, to serve



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Tip in the potatoes, carrots and parsnips, turn up the heat and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are golden.

  2. Stir in the curry paste or powder, pour in the stock and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the lentils, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.

  3. Stir in most of the coriander, season and heat for a minute or so.Top with yogurt and the rest of the coriander. Serve with naan bread.

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Comments (532)

janellendarwen's picture

Beautiful dish. Made it for my vegan niece and her husband (minus the yogurt, of course) They loved it!

sarahlouhughes's picture

Been making this for years, love it!

studentcook146's picture

really tasty, had some the next day and it tasted even better

catie74's picture

Nice and cheap for a meat free night. That said I rarely have vegetable stock in so generally use chicken stock. I do add loads of celery too because we love it in most stews and use swede and turnip instead of potato. Don't generally bother with the Naan. Spice levels can be changed to taste. A lovely heart warming pot of goodness to come home to after a long walk in the woods with the dog

LianaM's picture

And now for another exciting episode of "Spicy Root and Lentil Casserole!"....A couple of things. First, I have a 6 liter multi-cooker with a non-stick surface, so oil was not necessary. (The multi-cooker part comes later). Like several others, I substituted turnip/sweet potato for the parsnips. In my case one of each. Also,I had to use brown lentils as the red ones are apparently out of season where I live. Everything was going according to plan until it came time to chop up the sweet potato and the steak knife which I had used successfuly to chop up everything else; simply was not up to task. I did what I usually do with problem root vegetables: Brought out the grater! Now that the sweet potato was grated, I couldn't very well saute it with the rest of the vegetables, so I opted to add it in with the water. After I had added the lentils and it was time to simmer I decided that there would be no better way to let the root vegetables absorb the flavors, than to slow cook! I switched the multi-cooker to "slow cook" and set it on "Low" for about 5 1/2 hours (surprisingly, I used the same amount of water as the recipe called for and everything turned out just fine. It was hearty and delicious, and I couldn't even finish the second serving! The cilantro really "makes the dish". While I liked it as a stew, the person who said it would make a good cream soup was right, and I too will be putting it in the blender. As for the sweet potato, the flavor was completely "absorbed into the dish". Great recipe!

kochamkurcia's picture

Very tasty, will prepare it again.

kookymooky's picture

Delicious. Just a tad carb-heavy protein-light for me as a confirmed carnivore but the flavours are top-notch. Four stars.

joanna1972's picture

Oh how we love this in my house. It's usually made in the same week as the Pistou Soup (also on GF site) as there are always left over veg, half a celeriac, those few too many turnips, etc. I use the Patak's Balti paste as it suits our spice levels. But add some Nigella and cumin seeds when the onion and garlic are soft. Generally use 250g of lentils and therefore a bit more stock never measure that! End up freezing at least 2 portions after feeding two very hungry men and myself. All served with some flat bread.

marley88's picture

Love this dish, made it a few times now and it's a massive hit in our household! Not a fan of curry powder so as per some of the other comments I substituted it for tumeric, cumin and some garam masala. I also reduced the amount of potatoes a bit and added some turnip. Really tasty!

tinkerbell_264's picture

This so much tastier than I thought it was going to be! I used a mix of sweet potatoes and white potatoes and a tikka masala curry past from Waitrose. I served it with cauliflower rice to keep it super healthy.
I would say this is a vegetable curry not a casserole but whatever you call it I will be making it again. Yum Yum

portiag2's picture

I found this not pleasant to eat, but after one portion whizzed it in a blender and added water. It made a great soup and many portions!

rubynb's picture

This is such a lovely and simple recipe! Really easy, tasty and filling. I've made it a few times and prefer to use sweet potato instead of parsnips but it's delicious either way. It is filling enough without the naan but nice to have something to mop it all up with! Also fed to a meat-eater and he really enjoyed it.

aimeelj's picture

This is delicious! My meat-eating boyfriend loved it too.
Next time I'm going to use sweet potato and double the amount of lentils like a lot of people have suggested. It's a firm mid-week favourite in our house now!

Curry fan's picture

Was quite sceptical about this but its blooming lovely (coming from an avid meat eater) . Stuck to recipe exactly apart from adding mushrooms & a tin of tomatoes as part of the stock. Used Veeraswamy medium mohglai curry paste (from Waitrose) which I think made it as they are wonderful curry pastes. Will defo make again. I also cooked it for a lot longer before adding the lentils (about an hour on a gentle simmer) as my veggies were quite chunky and I like the sauce to be well reduced.

hannahtyrrell's picture

Lovely flavoursome recipe.
I used baby potatoes instead of regular ones (to save on time peeling) and they cooked lovely and in the time recommended.

i too doubled the amount of lentils to give it that bit more substance, although i had enough casserole to feed an army!

Really easy to make!

lolomuds's picture

I have been making this dish for 2 years now and it is a great mid week dinner. I have two pans on the go so that my Husband and I can have a spicier version to the childrens. My children have been eating this since they were 18mths and 3 years old and there are never any complaints as long as it comes with a papadom to scoop up with!
This is the sort of dinner you enjoy enough not to feel like you have been hard-done-by after a long day at work but its also quick, nutritious and cheap.
Adjust the spice to suit your palette! Enjoy x

suzzells26's picture

Yummo. Great for using up basic vegetables. I pretty much followed the recipe but cooked it in a slow cooker. Really tasty, simple to make and leftovers for another meal. Five stars.

inkypink's picture

Lovely casserole although almost a Dhal with the lentils. I used twice the lentils (by mistake!) but it seemed to work really well, used sweet potato, new potatoes, parsnip and a handful of chestnut mushrooms that needed using up. Interesting how many differing comments on blandness, I'd got some leftover home made curry powder that was used for a fabulous chicken biryani so it was very fragrant rather than hot so I took a chance and used it. It worked really well with the lentils, although adding yoghurt to this mix was a bit cloying but coriander really freshens it up. A great recipe for freezing in small batches, in fact tasted much better the next day.

qas5saq's picture

Read the comments and doubled the quantity of lentils. Took longer to cook than stated. Really tasty. Makes loads. Simple to put together. Will make again.

Airbus5781's picture

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Questions (12)

fionaandwill's picture

Hi, can anyone advise if I can cook this in the slow cooker? Any tips how to cook in the slow cooker please? Many thanks.

suzzells26's picture

I've cooked this in a slow cooker and it worked well. I sweated the vegetables first as in the recipe (my slow cooker has this function so all done in the one pot). When i added the stock I used enough to cover the vegetables and lentils so maybe used a bit less than in the recipe. You probably know how much liquid is right for you cooker. Then I cooked it on high till it automatically switched to 'keep warm', about 4 hours. It was so easy and low faff, recommend you give it a try.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi fionaandwill, thanks for your question. We haven't tested this recipe using a slow cooker so cannot guarantee perfect results, but can't see any reason why it wouldn't be ok to do so and would suggest perhaps not cooking it for much longer than 4 hrs. You may however, want to add the lentils later on in the cooking process so that they don't turn to mush. Hope this helps, let us know how you get on. 

Toni_samantha's picture

Could I freeze this? And if not why not? Would one of the elements go slushy? I love it! Xx

Sassieluvsfood's picture

Would replacing half of the potatoes with some sweet potatoes or pumpkin be nice? Do they need the same cooking time?

RedPanda14's picture

I've used sweet potatoes in this, there is no difference :)

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question. Yes, pumpkin or sweet potato would both work well and take about the same time to cook too. Thanks, and enjoy the stew!

BBC Good Food team

joanofarc67's picture

Can you freeze it?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question. You can freeze this dish once cooked and cooled. The texture will change a little once reheated, but the taste will be fine. Thanks, 

BBC Good Food team

evieweevie's picture

I would freeze it when it was partially cooked and left to cool. This should hopefully prevent the potatoes turning to mash! Then defrost fully and cook as normal.

davidsonl87's picture

I have frozen it, but it tastes best fresh.

lizleicester's picture

I'm sure you can freeze it. Make sure it's cold before you put it in the freezer and expect it to break down to something quite soup/puree like when you thaw it again.

Tips (4)

Shazzahomemade's picture

Made this last week,bloody lovely...
added a can of tomatoes and twice the amount of lentils (200g) & let it simmer for a good 1hr.
Perfect winter warmer,just about to make another batch.

organicgems's picture

Loved this recipe... so simple and both my girls (aged 6 and 7) ate it up without making any fuss at all, which I was waiting for given they had never eaten lentils before! Some tips... 1. add double the amount of lentils, this thickens it up and gives a great flavour 2. Too many potatoes for my liking, perhaps swop with sweet potato instead? 3. takes about 10 mins more to cook that the recipe stated to get the potatoes soft enough to eat - but if you used sweet potatoes I'm sure they would cook quicker. 4. Creme fresh on top is a must, along with the coriander 5. serve with naan breads - I put a splash of water, dessicated coconut and honey drizzled on top before popping them in the oven for five mins - the girls loved mopping up the juice/soup left over with the naan! This recipe was a real hit and I will be doing it again and again!

mariannemari's picture

I love this recipe.
However, I add a little flower at the end because the curry always ends up a little too runny.

suzimorris2's picture

Used quorn pieces for a change, 4 tspTikka powder, frozen coriander and a tin of tomatoes. My husband (big meat eater) was dubious but actually loved it! I'm a veggie and it was great with a little kick from the tikka powder.

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