Make Ahead

Indian Spiced Lentils

December 24, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is a version of Indian Spiced Lentils I made for an Indian potluck party a few months ago. Influenced by the spices of India and the Middle East, this salad is healthy and very satisfying to eat, with a touch of sweet and sour from pomegranate molasses. - TasteFood —TasteFood

Test Kitchen Notes

TasteFood's Indian spiced lentils recipe is quite easy to make. The flavor is complex and hearty without being too "hot.” Pomegranate molasses adds an undertone of tangy sweetness. I sampled it warm, and then enjoyed it cold the next day as a lunchtime salad. The flavors really do intensify and meld overnight. I had to omit the scallions at the end (shopping list oversight), but it was still a great success without them. —AppleAnnie

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water for vegetarian option)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
  • 1 green jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 red serrano pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and spices and sauté 1 minute. Add lentils and stir to coat. Add stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the lentils are soft but chewy, about 40 minutes. Transfer lentils to a large bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add white part of scallions and peppers. Sauté briefly until peppers brighten in color, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to lentils.
  3. Stir in pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper. Taste to adjust seasoning. Before serving, add green scallions, cilantro and parsley and gently toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The flavors will develop if refrigerated several hours or overnight.)
  4. Optional: Substitute the ground cumin, coriander and mustard with whole seeds. Toast the seeds over medium heat in a dry skillet until fragrant, 1 minute, then finely grind with a mortar and pestle.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Golab
  • lastnightsdinner
  • Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
    Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
  • monkeymom
  • Lizthechef

15 Reviews

Susan May 28, 2012
I subbed black treacle (roughly equivalent to blackstrap molasses) for the pomegranate molasses, since I had a half-empty can of it that I was trying to use up, and it came out very tasty. Not tart like the pomegranate molasses, but with this spice combination still not overly sweet.
Golab January 25, 2012
Is this recipe very spicy? I'm middle eastern, so the house is stocked with pomegranate molasses ... can't wait to try it! :-)
maria418 March 16, 2011
Can, I make this recipe without the pomegranate molasses? i know it will affect the taste, but I'm assuming it would still taste great without it. Thanks!
TasteFood March 16, 2011
Yes, you can. The molasses adds a little sweetness that you may miss. Let me know what you think.
Mcalvosa January 17, 2011
Is there any substitution for the pomegranate molasses?
Thanks!! :)
lastnightsdinner December 29, 2010
Gorgeous, and it sounds fantastic.
TasteFood December 29, 2010
Thank you, LND - and happy new year!
Ordinary B. December 26, 2010
The spices in this recipe must really pack a punch. I've clipped this and will try it this week. It's blizzarding here in New Jersey so I'm going to have to build the week's menu out of pantry staples. This recipe will be just the thing!!!
TasteFood December 26, 2010
This is perfect for a snowy day. I hope you like it!
monkeymom December 26, 2010
This looks so great, can't wait to make it!
TasteFood December 26, 2010
Thanks, monkeymom. I'm still think about your heavenly rolls.
Lizthechef December 24, 2010
Gorgeous colors and great flavor combinations. Where does one find pomegranate molasses? WF?
TasteFood December 24, 2010
Thanks, Liz! Yes, WF should carry it, or specialty stores. Look in the international section.
hardlikearmour December 24, 2010
You can also make your own pomegranate molasses if you have the time and inclination.
This recipe sounds really good.
TasteFood December 24, 2010
Thanks, hardlikearmour. That's right - it's quite easy to make, as I understand. That will be on the to-try list for the New Year!