Chef and cookbook author Melissa Hemsley has donated her Quick Coconut Lentils recipe to help fight food waste at home. Search #FelixFakeAways for more inspiration.

The Felix Project is on a mission to tackle food waste and hunger in London. We rescue good food that is at risk of being wasted and uses it to feed people in need.

And this classic takeaway recipe is the perfect way to use up the leftovers and pantry items kicking around your kitchen. So let's get started!

Pickled onions makes everything better and this is a fast, cheap and cheerful dinner. Red lentils are tender in less than 20 minutes so they are always on standby at mine. Pop any leftovers in the freezer so you’ve always got something lovely to look forward to.


2 tbsps ghee or coconut oil
1 tbsp ground cumin / 2tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.5 inch ginger, finely chopped
500g red lentils
1.2 litres veg stock or chicken broth
400ml full fat coconut milk
Pinch chilli flakes or fresh red chilli
2 large handfuls of coriander, stems finely chopped
Salt & pepper

For pickled onions:
2 red onions, halved and very finely sliced
Juice of 2 limes and some zest
Good pinch sea salt


  1. In a large wide saucepan, toast the fennel and mustard seeds for a minute until they start to pop, then add the cumin, turmeric & ghee/oil.
  2. Add onions & sea salt, turn up the heat and fry for 8 mins while you get on with chopping everything else.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, fresh or dried chilis for a few mins then add lentils, coconut milk & stock/broth, stir, turn up the heat, pop the lid on & simmer for 20 mins. Give a stir every now and then so lentils don’t catch at the bottom of the pan. Take the lid off to thicken it up if you like it less soupy.
  4. Meanwhile, finely slice the red onions, scrunch and massage them in a bowl with lime juice & salt for 30 seconds then leave them to bathe in the salty lime juice where they’ll go bright pink and delicious.
  5. Finely chop the coriander stems, add to the curry then once the lentils are tender, season to taste, serve up & top with a helping of yoghurt, onions & coriander leaves

If you try this recipe, we'd love to see! Snap a pic and be sure to tag #FelixFakeAways on social.

stop food waste. fight hunger. feed london.

The UK wastes 10.7 tonnes of food a year -enough to fill Wembley Stadium 10 times. Meanwhile, 40% of children in London have experienced food insecurity in the last month.

If you want to be part of the solution, a monthly donation of just £11.9 can help feed a Londoner daily. Join us today.