August Fennel, Red Cabbage & Lentil Curry

Fennel, Red Cabbage & Lentil Curry

It’s Summer and I feel like I should be writing a salad recipe not a fennel curry one. But right now, outside, I see a pheasant, drenched and almost sideways in the wind. I’m thinking curry, not slaw!

Fennel is having a moment with me. From salads to soups, I can’t get enough of it. I read a couple of recipes for fennel curry that sounded amazing and then decided to experiment. The result is this month’s recipe. The sweetness from the mango chutney complements the fennel’s aniseed, and it’s lighter flavours place it on the summery side of curries. Try to choose a fragrant mango chutney – I make my own and always have a couple of jars on the fridge (recipe another time). Waitrose do a nice one, and Geeta’s. We eat a lot of this curry – hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Fennel, Red Cabbage & Lentil Curry (Serve 2)


1 Large Bulb of Fennel (thinly sliced)

1/3 Large Red Cabbage (thinly sliced)

1 Red Onion (sliced)

3-6 Cloves of Garlic (crushed)

1-2 Chili (chopped – de-seed for less heat)

1 inch Ginger (finely chopped)

1 Cup Red Lentils (rinsed)

6 or 7 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp Mango Chutney

1 Vegetable Stock Cube

10-15 Fresh Curry Leaves

1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

1 tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds

1 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Cardamon

1 – 2 tsp Curry Powder (I like Bart Medium)

1 tsp Cumin

Juice of 1 Lime

Splash of Soy Sauce (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste



1/ Warm the curry leaves, fenugreek and yellow mustard seeds in a pan until fragrant – add a splash of oil, then the onions and fry over a low to medium heat until softened.

2/ Add the garlic, chili and ginger and fry for a minute. Then add the turmeric, cardamon, cumin, and curry powder & gently heat until the fragrances are released.

3/ Stir in the tomatoes, then add the fennel and cabbage and coat with spices. Add enough water to cover everything and bring to the boil. Stir in the stock cube and then add the lentils. Reduce to a gentle simmer. After 10 minutes add the mango chutney and stir thoroughly.

4/ Cook for about another 10 – 15 minutes or until the fennel and cabbage are softened and the lentils are cooked. Season to taste with lime juice, soy sauce, salt & pepper.

5/ This dish is lovely served with a shredded carrot slaw (add a tsp of curry powder & a sprinkle of nigella seeds to some vegan mayo & a splash of apple cider vinegar – stir, then coat the shredded carrot). Sprinkle over some toasted cashew nut pieces and voila! Curry with a twist.