I am not a great fan of lentils in salads but occasionally I use them to make chaats and other type of salads.Normally its the soup or sides that comes to my mind whenever I think of lentils.But this is a simple Lebanese style salad which I adapted from Kalyn. The original is supposed to be from Saveur and it turned out wonderful or much tastier than expected. I have prepared this with brown lentils or whole black masoor or Egyptian lentils as they are also known. Green Lentils or French lentils also work fine with this recipe.
Whole Black Masoor/Brown/black/Egyptian lentils: atleast 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp +
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 2 tbsp +
Garlic Clove: 2-3 cloves finely minced
Cumin Powder: 1/2 tsp +
Allspice Powder: 1/4 tsp +
Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley: 1 -2 tbsp chopped
Fresh Mint : 1-2 tbsp chopped
Salt & Pepper: as per taste
Cook the lentils in water till tender. Make sure they are not mushy. Stove top cooking for 15+ minutes is better here than pressure cooker which may make it mushy. I soaked the lentils for around 15-30 minutes in hotwater before cooking and it was cooked under 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
In a small pan,heat around 1 tbsp of EVOO and add minced garlic to it. Saute the garlic till it starts perfuming the oil and is just about to change the colour.Turn off the heat.
Whisk together the rest of the EVOO,lemon juice, cumin powder and crushed allspice berry till it emulsifies to a smooth silky dressing. Add this to the warm garlic-oil and turn on the heat for another minute. Pour this garlicky spicy hot dressing on the lentils and mix well. Toss in chopped herbs and salt and pepper. Adjust the seasonings and serve warm as a side salad.
You can also have this as a mini meal or snack or light lunch and can even use this as a stuffing for tortillas /ricepaper rolls /pita breads.You can serve it with couscous of pasta mixed in for a hearty comforting meal.I had as a side salad and found it filling and comforting. The freshness of herbs with the comfort of the lentils is heartily appreciated.
Right now, the salad is on way to visit NCR:Lentils at Tinned Tomatoes.