Vegetable and Red Lentil Curry

1 cinnamon stick
8 cardamom pods
1 onion or six spring onions, finely chopped (leave the spring onion tops for garnishing at the end)
2.5 cm ginger finely grated or finely chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tomatoes – finely chopped or 1 cup of canned tomatoes
4 carrots, quartered and cut into small pieces
1/2 capsicum, diced
1 medium size zucchini, quartered and chopped
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp coriander seed
5 tbsp ghee
1 can of coconut cream
One bunch of spinach or chard.
1/2 cup coriander coarsely chopped
Salt to taste
Optional 2 chilies with or without seeds finely diced
1. In a cast iron fry pan over very hot heat, gentle roast cumin seeds.  Tip into mortar once lightly toasted.  Then roast the coriander seed and add to mortar.  Grind until you have a powder.
2. In a large, heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee, then add cinnamon and cardamom (you can put them into a piece of muslin for easy removal later). Cook for about a minute or two and then add onion, carrot, capsicum and zucchini.
3. Fry vegetables until onion is lightly golden brown.  Add ginger and garlic.  Fry over a low to medium until they are cooked and the onion is a deep golden brown.
4. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and optional chili.  Cook for a couple of minutes.
5. Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes collapse and the oil starts to separate.
6. Add lentils and stock and gently simmer until lentils are soft.
7. Add chopped spinach or chard, coriander and coconut cream. Continue stirring until the spinach breaks down.
8. Season with salt.  Serve with rice