Naanchiladas: Curry-Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Enchiladas

Naanchiladas-curry-spiced-enchiladas by food to glowAs with some television shows, where an entire episode seems to be based round a joke that came up in a production meeting, this recipe was an off-beat idea of mine that grew into a recipe. I started with the hybrid name and it kind of went from there.

But unlike some TV shows, this works. No joke.

Just a couple of notes: about the sauce, if you wish to use garam masala or another curry powder that you like, that would be just fine. Use about two tablespoons, but be prepared to add more if the flavour seems “thin.” And as for the naan, use roti or chapati if you wish, or even commercial naan, although the latter may be too thick and will tear/break (and really aren’t very nice when compared to homemade). Heck you could even add curry spices to a bought red enchilada sauce. Whatever way you do this, it’s a fun and unexpected way to enjoy vegetables. Perhaps not as unexpected as my last recipe though.😉

Naanchiladas-curry-spiced-enchiladas by food to glow


  • Servings: 3-5
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Change out the vegetables and flatbread to suit your tastes (and perhaps to clear out your fridge). This is more a template and slightly offbeat idea than a proper recipe, so make it your own. And just to say I have labelled it as of ‘moderate’ difficulty but it isn’t difficult, just with a few more steps than a beginner cook might be comfortable. Using bought roti and a bought but spiced up red enchilada sauce would cut the steps drastically and make it a very quick midweek meal. But of course, I have to go the ‘whole enchilada.’😉

The Naanchilada Sauce

2 tbsp oil of choice (eg coconut, ghee or rapeseed)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 peeled clove of garlic, minced

35g (1.1 oz) peeled ginger, minced

1/2 tsp each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hot (or mild if for children) paprika, turmeric

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds, crushed (or use ground fenugreek)

2 tbsp flour or cornflour/cornstarch OR whatever you like to use for thickening sauces

35g (1.1 oz) peeled ginger, minced

3 tbsp tomato puree

500ml vegetable stock (more as needed to get the sauce as you wish)

Special equipment: jug blender (I use this one) or hand blender. If you have neither then please use all ground spices.

1. Heat a skillet and add the spices. Let these get a bit toasty then scrape out onto a plate. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil over medium-low in the same skillet, and add the chopped onion and the garlic and sauté until the onion is soft – about five minutes. Add in the toasted spices, the ginger and the flour, and cook for a further minute, stirring. Pour in half of the vegetable stock and add all of the tomato puree, stir well and bring to a fast simmer, stirring occasionally. Let this thicken, then add the rest of the stock and let this thicken. Pour the sauce into a blender and blitz until completely smooth. Set aside. This can be done a couple of days in advance, or made and stored in the freezer. Do play with this sauce until you get it the way YOU want it.Naanchiladas-curry-spiced-enchiladas by food to glow

Naan Bread

If you need something gluten-free, why not try these brown rice tortillas? I haven’t tried them but they look like they will work well here.

250g (9 oz) plain or unbleached flour (I used spelt flour)

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

1 tbsp kalonji/Nigella seeds OR cumin seeds

130ml (4.5 fl oz) plant or dairy milk (I used hemp milk)

2 tbsp rapeseed oil or other neutral cooking oil

1. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the oil and milk. Make a ‘well’ in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Use your hand to mix the dough, and once it has come together knead it in the bowl until is smooth and elastic: you want it to spring back when you press into it. Cover the dough with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes to half an hour, to rest the gluten.

2. Turn it out of the bowl onto a floured surface and roll into a sausage shape and divide into five equal pieces. Roll out the pieces thinly. Cover the rolled dough with a cloth while you finish with the rest of the pieces.

3. Heat a skillet and lay a naan on it, turning when bubbles are just lightly browned – remember they will cook further in the oven. Set aside and cover. These can be kept wrapped in a tea towel while you sort the vegetables. You want to keep them wrapped and warm (but not hot) so that they remain pliable.naan-bread-collage by food to glow

The Naanchilada Filling

1 tbsp oil of choice

250g (8 oz) cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

125g (4.4 oz) aubergine/eggplant, diced

½ onion, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, minced

40g/1.4 oz kale, chopped (ribs removed) OR other sturdy greens

1 heaped tbsp. garam masala or curry powder (I used Steenberg Organic)

Salt, to taste

100g (3.5) cooked lentils – I used black Beluga lentils from a pouch (Merchant Gourmet) as the really hold their shape, but use any that you have

Hard, grated cheese, to top the filled naan breads (I used vintage/extra strong Cheddar but paneer but would be fab and go with the whole ‘vibe’) – optional

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. Heat the oil over a low-medium flame in the skillet or a wok and add the onions and garlic, sautéing for five minutes; add the remaining vegetables, the spices and a splash of water or water and a little tomato puree (if you have any, but not necessary). Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.

3. To assemble, pour a thin layer of sauce in a rectangular baking dish that will fit the naans (I used one that is 30cm x 21cm / 12in x 8.5in). Take each naan and evenly fill with the vegetable mix and top with the lentils (or mix in before filling the breads), rolling them up and laying them in the dish. Pour over the sauce and smooth.

4. Place the naanchiladas in the preheated oven and bake until the sauce is bubbly on the sides and the cheese is browned and and gooey – about 20 minutes.

PS. I’m popping this over to Jac’s for her new Meat Free Mondays link-up. Why don’t you do the same with your latest veggie recipe?Naanchiladas-curry-spiced-enchiladas by food to glowNaanchiladas-curry-spiced-enchiladas by food to glow