Creamy Puy Lentils with Tahini, Cumin and Red Onion

puy lentils with tahini, tomatoes and red onion

As I rarely use canned beans, I have to think ahead and soak legumes and grains the night before. On those occasions when I forget, lentils are usually the solution because they require little soaking time, if any at all. Here peppery marble specked French Puy lentils come together with Middle Eastern tahini and cumin flavors in an easy but nourishing and palate pleasing dish. Puy lentils hold together well when cooked and they don't need soaking. In this case, simply simmer them up until tender and then add them later in the dish. Spicy, nutty and fresh, served with brown rice or some olive oil coated lightly toasted pitas, everything you need for a nourishing meal is here, especially when a side salad or vegetable dish makes an appearance at the table.

Creamy Puy Lentils with Tahini, Cumin and Red OnionCreamy Puy Lentils with Tahini, Cumin and Red Onion
Recipe by
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Published on November 27, 2014

Peppery French lentils simmered in a simple earthy and nutty Middle Eastern style tomato, tahini and cumin sauce with cilantro and lemon

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  • 1 cup French (Puy) lentils, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 jalapeƱos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 5 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into thin rings
  • sea salt and freshly crack black pepper to taste
  • In a medium saucepan, cover the lentils with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer until the lentils are tender — roughly 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic, cumin and paprika. Stir and fry for 30 seconds, then add the jalapeƱos and stir and fry for another few minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the cilantro and simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken, stirring often. Stir in the cooked lentils.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, hot water, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Stir this mixture into the lentils and tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, for another 5 minutes. Roughly mash some of the lentils with the back of a spoon.

  • Serve hot, garnished with the onion slices and some fresh cilantro if desired, alongside rice or lightly toasted pita breads brushed with some olive oil and herbs.

Makes 4 servings

creamy puy lentils with tahini and tomatoes

Other lentil dishes to try from Lisa's Kitchen:
Indian-Style Lentils
French Lentil Tomato and Harissa Stew
Puy Lentils with Spices and Tamarind
Beet, Lentil and Vegetable Soup

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Joanne said...

I am constantly forgetting to soak beans, so lentils are my go-to as well! Love the flavors in this soup!

janet @ the taste space said...

I like lentils for those very same reasons.... and this looks like a fun deconstructed hummus dish swapping lentils for chickpeas. Great idea Lisa! :)

niki said...

I love puy lentils too but here in the UK they are very pricey. Tahini is a nice idea with them, I would never have thought of that. Thanks lisa x

Deena Kakaya said...

Loving the use of tahini here Lisa! I have a similar recipe on my site, but using mung beans. Works so well, so delicious x

Marfigs said...

I can't wait to try this out and spoil my family - a perfect excuse for some homemade naan bread and all the works. Yum!