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Sri Lankan Egg and Lentil Curry

Probably my favourite lentil curry ever. I have adapted it from a Delia Smith recipe.

Sri Lankan Egg and Lentil Curry

4 Large Eggs
150g Green or Brown Lentils
75g Creamed Coconut (or dessicated coconut in ½ cup Milk)
1 Rounded teaspoon Lime pickle
Juice and grated zest of 1 Lime
1 Large onion
1 small Red Chilli
2 fat cloves Garlic
2.5cm Piece root Ginger
3 Cardamon pods, crushed
1 Teaspoon cumin seeds
1 Teaspoon Fennel seeds
1 dessertspoon Coriander seeds
2 Tablespoons Oil
1 rounded Teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Fenugreek powder
Fresh Coriander for garnish

1.Before you start to cook, get everything prepared.
Peel the onion and slice thinly. Deseed and finely chop the chilli. Peel and chop garlic, chop lime pickle and peel and grate the ginger.
If using creamed coconut, put it in a heat proof jug, in pieces. Boil the kettle.
2. Heat a large frying pan with a lid. When hot add the cardamom, cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Dry fry for 2-3 minutes. Toss them around a bit. As soon as they start to jump, tip them from the pan straight into a mortar.
3. Put the pan back on the heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onions and fry for about 4 minutes until brown at the edges. Turn the heat down a bit and add chilli, garlic, ginger, lime pickle, fenugreek and turmeric.
4. Crush the spices you put in the mortar with a pestle and then add them to the pan too.
5. If you are using creamed coconut, add boiling water up to the 570ml mark on the jug and stir well.
6. Stir the lentils into the pan. Add the grated lime zest and the coconut liquid, plus some more water if it needs it. (The lentils are going to absorb water as they cook, so make sure there is water just covering them and be ready to add more boiling water during cooking if it gets too dry.) Bring up to a simmer, then put a lid on and cook for 35-45 minutes. Stir now and again and add more liquid if necessary.
7. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, hard boil the eggs. Run cold water over them once cooked, and peel when they are a bit cooler. Cut into wedges.
8. When the lentil curry is cooked, add salt to taste and the lime juice.
Put into a serving dish and arrange the eggs on top. Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander.
I like to serve this with rice, mango chutney, extra lime pickle, and a yoghurt, mint and cucumber raita .

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