cooking // aubergine & red lentil curry

10 Jan 2012

Hello! To kickstart this year I'm going to lose 5kg and I've joined my local gym. Here I come cardio and strength classes and Saturday morning yoga! It's not that I'm terribly overweight, but I've stopped feeling good about the foods I'm eating and how I feel about myself. So now I'm calorie counting and keeping a food diary and it's amazing how less likely I am to eat something "bad" when I have an app to keep track of all my food intake. I'm eating the right amount of calories, but now it's a matter of making sure I'm eating all the healthy calories. I keep being under for Vitamins A and C, Fibre, Calcium and Iron. And today I'm under for my Carbs too!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this recipe I've already used twice in the past week. My old housemates gave me a 1kg bag of red lentils and my current household is under an unofficial Red Lentil January Challenge, haha. This is the delicious Aubergine and Red Lentil Curry recipe from the delicious magazine website:


Serves 4


  • 1 large aubergine, cut into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp your favourite medium curry paste
  • 150g dried red lentils
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • Handful of chopped fresh coriander


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Place 1 large aubergine, cut into chunks, and 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced, in a shallow roasting tin. Drizzle with 3 tbsp vegetable oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp mild chilli powder. Stir well to coat, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, in a pan, gently fry 1 onion, chopped, for 5 minutes, until soft. Add 1 tsp black mustard seeds and cook until they pop, then stir in 2 tbsp your favourite medium curry paste.
  3. 3. Stir in 150g dried red lentils and 450ml vegetable stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  4. 4. Stir in a handful chopped fresh coriander and the pepper and aubergine.


  1. What app are you using? I used Noom last year and found it to be pretty awesome. Instead of counting kilojoules/calories precisely, it just gets you to make estimates based on the type of food and the approximate serving size. So you might approximate a bowl of cereal by saying it's roughly 1/2 cup milk and about two handfuls of muesli and Noom then estimates how many calories that is. Being approximate and making estimates meant that it wasn't so much of a drag to keep track of things constantly and precisely, the idea being that if the app makes the process as easy as possible then you'll stick with it and it'll be more effective in the long-run. The app also had an exercise component, so I could log the type of exercise I'd done and the intensity and duration (it was always medium-intensity exercise-biking for 20-60 minutes, 4 or 5 days per week, since I really couldn't be bothered with much else), and the app would compare the calories burned to the calories I'd eaten and make an estimate of how much weight I would lose that week, and over multiple weeks it would learn more about my metabolism and make more accurate estimates. It was definitely effective, since I ended up losing 10kg in about 4 months, and I didn't even want to lose that much weight - I just wanted to eat more healthily and exercise a bit more and I got into such a habit of it that it just became automatic, and the app just made me more conscious of my eating and exercising habits. But then I went to Paris and obviously changed my eating habits to be able to properly enjoy all the food there and I regained about 5kg, haha. It's good to be healthy but you've still got to enjoy the finer things in life from time to time. ;)

    Also, the NYT's Recipes For Health series is amazing.
    There's a recipe for edamame pâté that was so good I made it for a dinner party and everyone loved it. So many awesome recipes.

  2. Noom sounds like a great app! Sadly they don't have one for iPhones. I'm using Calorie Counter and my housemate has used it for years and lost over 10kg and kept it all off. I'm already feeling better and don't really crave anything sweet like desserts and stuff. AND I can control myself when it comes to onion rings. This is a big win.

    Thanks for the NYT link too. I'll definitely check it out!


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