Baked Cauliflower with Spicy Lentils

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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Roasted Cauliflower:
1 Cauliflower
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Shallots
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Green Bell Pepper
2 tsp Chilli Powder*
1 cup (200g) Black Lentils
3 + 3/4 cups (900 ml) Vegetable Stock
1 can Crushed Tomatoes
3 tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
1/2 tsp Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

*Make your own chilli powder by grinding a dried chile in a coffee or spice grinder till a fine powder. Try ancho or chipotle!

Prepare the cauliflower first. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Peel the leaves off the cauliflower and cut the bottom of the stalk off so you can lay the cauliflower flat on the base.
Mix together the oil and the spices and rub all over the top of the cauliflower. Cover the cauliflower in tin foil and place in a baking tray. Bake for 60/90 minutes until cooked through.
While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the lentils.

Finely dice the shallots and green pepper. Fry the shallots for 2-3 minutes in a large stock pot, then add the minced garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. add the green pepper and chilli powder and continue to fry until the pepper is soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30-35 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the mixture is thick.

Serve the cauliflower on a bed of lentils and top with some freshly chopped coriander, pomegranate seeds and flaked almonds.