Matthew Tomkinson’s Vadouvan Spiced White Asparagus With Crispy Lentils, Fresh Coriander, Coconut And Cashew Cream

Matthew Tomkinson’s Vadouvan Spiced White Asparagus with Crispy Lentils, Fresh Coriander, Coconut and Cashew Cream (vegetarian, gluten free and vegan)

Perfect for a veggie-packed dish, this gluten-free asparagus delight uses plenty of spice and fresh coriander for a creamy meets crunchy main.

Serves 4

Ingredients
For the asparagus:
• 16 spears white asparagus (cooked for 1 minute in boiling, salted water and cooled)
• Picked fresh coriander or coriander cress
• Olive oil
• Salt
• Lemon

For the vadouvan:
• 3 large shallots thinly sliced
• 1 onions, thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp fresh nutmeg
• 1 tsp black mustard seeds
• 1 tsp fenugreek
• 1 tsp chili flakes
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp. ground cumin
• 1 clove, ground
• 6 cardamom pods (seeds only, no green)
• Olive oil

For the red lentil dhal:
• 125g red split lentils, rinsed
• 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
• 50g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
• 1 fresh chili deseeded and chopped
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 large pinch toasted and ground cumin
• 1 large pinch toasted and ground coriander seed
• 300ml good vegetable stock
• Water as required
• Olive oil
• Salt

For the cashew cream:
• 125g cashew nuts soaked overnight
• 1/2 tin coconut milk
• 1 pinch nutritional yeast
• 1/2 lemon (juice only)
• Salt

For the crispy lentils:
• 50g Puy lentils soaked overnight
• 200ml veg oil (approx.)
• Salt

For the shallot bhaaji:
• 1 tbsp. rice flour
• 1 tbsp. cornflour
• 4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 1 tsp garam masala
• 1 tsp black onion seeds
• Salt

Method
To make the vadouvan:
1 Sweat the shallot, garlic and until gently in olive oil until golden in colour
2 Add remaining ingredients and cook for 5 mins very gently
3 Spread thinly on a tray and cool
4 Dry overnight in the prover until hard
5 Blend to a powder and store in an airtight container

To make the red lentil dhal:
1 Sweat the shallot, garlic, chilli and ginger with a pinch of salt in the olive oil until soft.
2 Add the spices and cook gently for 2 minutes.
3 Add the lentils and stir to coat in the mixture.
4 Add the veg stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
5 Add 500ml of water and cook gently until it starts to break down stirring regularly.
6 Cook until thickened and season, the leave to cool.

To make the cashew cream:
1 Rinse the soaked cashews and blend until very smooth with some water and salt.
2 Add the coconut milk as required to gain a smooth creamy texture.
3 Add the lemon juice and season.

To make the crispy lentils:
1 Mix everything together with a splash or water until It becomes a smooth paste.
2 Season well and deep fry in small balls until golden and crispy.
3 Drain and season with salt.

To make the shallot bhaaji: 
1 Rinse the soaked lentils and dry thoroughly.
2 Deep fry in 180c oil until golden and crispy.
3 Drain, season with salt and allow to cool.

To serve:
1 In a hot pan, sauté the asparagus in a little olive oil until beginning to brown. Sprinkle over some of the vadouvan spice mix, season with salt and a small squeeze of lemon.
2 Warm the dhal and place in the center of 4 warm plates. Place a spoonful of the cashew cream in the middle and top with four of the asparagus spears per portion.
3 Sprinkle over some of the crispy lentils, several small bhaaji and the fresh coriander. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Matthew Tomlinson for The Montagu Arms

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