• For a hearty soup, sauté 1 chopped onion in a pan with a little olive oil, together with 15ml (1 tbsp) grated ginger and 15ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin, until the onion is soft. Add 2 peeled and grated carrots, 250ml (1 cup) red lentils and 1 litre vegetable stock. Season generously and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils disintegrate. Serve with fresh coriander leaves.

    For a dip, boil 1 peeled and quartered onion and 175g whole brown lentils with enough water to cover. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Strain the lentils and reserve the liquid. Purée the lentils, adding enough liquid to make a dip consistency. Stir in 30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice and top with corianderand cayenne pepper.

    For salad, cook 175g lentils until slightly tender. Stir in 1 small chopped onion. Add 75g (¾ cup) chopped dried apricots and 50g (½ cup) chopped walnuts. Cook for 15 minutes, strain and cool. Toss through a splash of olive oil, 7,5ml (1½ tsp) lemon juice, 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Make healthy veggie burgers by frying 1 minced onion and 1 crushed garlic clove in oil. Add 500ml (2 cups) cooked lentils and 250ml (1 cup) shredded carrots and marrows. Sauté until soft and remove from the heat. Season to taste and mix in 1 beaten large egg to bind the mixture. Shape patties and fry in a hot pan until brown on both sides.

    For a side dish, soften 1 diced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 5ml (1 tsp) ground turmeric, 5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin and 5ml (1 tsp) grated ginger in a saucepan with a little oil. Add 250ml (1 cup) dried lentils, 750ml (3 cups) hot water and 5ml (1 tsp) salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover and simmer until lentils are mushy and thick, about 20 minutes. Garnish with coriander

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com