Green Puy Lentils, Asparagus and Watercress

Green lentils, brown lentils, red lentils, black lentils, yellow lentils, split peas, dried peas – the world of Western lentils is quite different to the world of Indian lentils. It presents a challenge to your pantry space if you commonly cook lentils from both cuisines. Two of the coloured lentils we adore and keep in our pantry each winter – the green French or Du Puy lentil, and the black Beluga lentil.

This salad is terrific, mixing hot green lentils with parmesan and asparagus with a dressing made from watercress and parsley. In many ways, this dish is about the parmesan rather than the lentils, dressing or asparagus. That yeasty, earthy umami flavour with the lentils and dressing as a base will have you coming back for more and more. The asparagus offers a delightful crunch.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty. Currently we are cooking from his book Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by.  For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Simple Delicious Chickpea Salad

I love to make this with chickpeas hot from the pan, but can be made with a can of chickpeas too.

There is something very special about chickpeas hot from the pan, drizzled with olive oil, and only then sprinkled with salt and some lemon (not lime) juice squeezed over. The hot chickpeas release their aroma to the olive oil and the olive oil its aroma to the chickpeas. It is quite special.

My favourite way of cooking chickpeas is on the slow cooker setting of my rice cooker. Set it for 9 hours or so, and then let it sit on the Warm setting for several hours. There is no need to be precise with a slow cooker – but be sure it is a “slow” cooker, not just a “bit slower than normal” cooker. I have one of those too, in my cupboard, used occasionally.

Are you looking for similar recipes? You might also like to try Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli and Dukkah, Chickpea Sundal (Indian Salad), and Green Salad with Chickpeas and Feta.

Browse all of the Chickpea Salad recipes and all of the dishes featuring Chickpeas, explore the Bittman Salads and check out all of the many many Salad recipes. Be inspired by our Early Autumn recipes.

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Crushed Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin

This sustaining meal-on-a-plate is a little bit like hummus, though much easier and quicker to prepare. Eat with warm flatbread and a salad.

It is a very very cool summer’s day, full of storms and we are all reaching for our unused jackets to keep warm. We look for something more substantial and comforting today from the kitchen.

I love the lentils of India and the Middle East, and I love the lentils of the West (although a much more limited range). Commonly, lentils soften much more quickly than most dried beans and peas, and take only 20 – 40 minutes to cook. While red lentils (masoor dal), fall apart in the cooking (so making them perfect for soups), brown and green varieties hold their shape, making them a very good base on which to layer other foods. A pan of cooked lentils – braised with carrots, onions, celery, hard herbs and vegetable stock – is a useful thing to have in the fridge, ready to for the basis for turning yesterday’s leftover dishes into a whole new meal.

You might also like to try Citrusy Beetroot with Puy Lentils, Indian Du Puy Lentil Sundal Salad, Kosheri – Rice with Vermicelli and Lentils, and Du Puy Lentil Soup.

Browse through our Du Puy recipes, and you might like to explore all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Be inspired by our Late Summer recipes.

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Easy White Bean Salad | Easy Cannellini Bean Salad

This salad is ready in minutes

The ability to arrive home from work and throw together a salad or two to go with the main meal – or as a meal in itself – is something that we strive for with our modern “on the go” lifestyles. Using either canned beans or precooked beans that you have kept in the freezer, this salad is ready in minutes. Grab some cherry tomatoes and rocket (arugula) from the corner shop as you walk home from the bus stop, and you are good to go.

PS It is flavoursome too.

Are you looking for other White Bean dishes? Try White Bean and Tahini Salad, White Bean Soup, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Try other Salads also. You might particularly like Carrot and Blueberry Salad, Grown up Potato Salad, and a Simple Celery Salad.

We have a wealth of salad recipes. You can browse them here.  Have a look at our recipes for Cannellini Beans and explore all of the Bittman Salads. Or take some time to explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomatoes

Such a bang of wonderful flavours

This is another Ottolenghi classic. Ottolenghi’s recipes have a reputation for being rather involved but I have also found that the reputation for his recipes being involved is, in the main, unjustified.

This is from my favourite of his set of books – Plenty. It is a relatively simple dish, and adapts easily to some precooking. The tomatoes can be roasted beforehand, for example. You can precook the lentils and onions too, and leave assembly to just before serving.

You might also want to try Lauki Melon with Tomato and Feta, Puy Lentils with Asparagus and Watercress, Du Puy Lentils with Witlof and Honeyed Walnuts, , Puy Lentils with Ragout of Mushrooms, Cyprian Grain Salad with Freekeh, Du Puy Lentil Soup, and Citrusy Beetroot with Puy Lentils.

Browse more of Ottolenghi’s recipes, and all du Puy Lentil recipes are here.  Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Mung Dal Sundal | Stir fried Mung Dal with Coconut

Mung/Moong Dal can be confusing when reading Indian recipes, but it is a versatile lentil. When it is whole it is called mung or moong, or mung bean or green gram or pachha payarru, when the mung is split it is known as mung dal or pasi paruppu.

Sundals are very easy to make once your base ingredient – usually a lentil or pulse – is cooked. They are often called “salads”, and in an Indian context, that is true as they are much lighter dishes than many curries. But in a Western context they are better described as lentils and pulses quickly stirfried with spices – black mustard seeds, asafoetida, ginger, red and green chillies. I love these dishes.

You might also like to try Urad Sundal, Channa (Chickpea) Sundal, Rajma (Kidney Beans) Sundal, and Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with Sprouted Green Gram or some White Peas, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.

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Urad Dal Sundal | Karuppu Ulundu Sundal | Black Gram Sundal | Stir Fried Black Lentils with Coconut

Made with split urad dal or whole Urad, this sundal is delicious.

This season there will be 9 Sundals, one for each day of Navarathri. 7 are made already.

Sundals are very easy to make once your base ingredient – usually a lentil or pulse – is cooked. They are often called “salads”, and in an Indian context, that is true as they are much lighter dishes than many curries. But in a Western context they are better described as lentils and pulses quickly stirfried with spices – black mustard seeds, asafoetida, ginger, red and green chillies. I love these dishes.

Today it is an Urad Sundal. You can use whole or split Urad.

You might also like to try Black Gram Sprouts Sundal, Adzuki Bean Sundal, Du Puy Sundal, Mung Dal Sundal, and White Pea Sundal. Or you can make a Sundal with Chickpeas or some Rajma (Kidney Beans) , equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.

Check out our other Sundal recipes for quick and easy snacks or side dishes. Sundals can also be used as prasadam and neivedyam for Navaratri or Ganesha Chaturthi and other Hindu Festivals. Click the links for other recipes for these festivals. Or explore our collection of Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here.

Continue reading “Urad Dal Sundal | Karuppu Ulundu Sundal | Black Gram Sundal | Stir Fried Black Lentils with Coconut”

Channa Sundal | Chickpea Sundal | Kondai Kadalai Sundal

Keep cooked chickpeas in the freezer for an instant Sundal.

Another popular and delicious Sundal eaten as a snack at this time of the year is a Chickpea Sundal, also called Channa Sundal. Sundals are sometimes called salads, but more accurately they are a stirfried lentil with coconut and a tadka (spice mix fried in ghee) of black mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, dried red chillies and curry leaves. It is as simple as that.

If you want an instant sundal, keep soaked and cooked chickpeas in the freezer. Defrost them in the microwave or in the fridge or on the kitchen bench before making the Sundal. It will take you 5 mins only to make the dish.

You might also like to try Sweet Corn Sundal, Adzuki Bean Sundal, Sprouted Green Gram Sundal, and White Pea Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with du Puy Lentils or some mung dal, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous. Continue reading “Channa Sundal | Chickpea Sundal | Kondai Kadalai Sundal”

Rajma Sundal | Kidney Bean Sundal

Deep dark red with flashes of green, the joy of rajma sundal \ red kidney bean sundal.

Kidney beans (rajma) are perfect for a sundal. While you can add chopped green coriander to most sundals, the colour of the rajma really welcomes that hit of greenness, alleviating the dark sombre notes of the beans.

Sundals are very easy to make once your base ingredient – usually a lentil or pulse – is cooked. They are often called “salads”, and in an Indian context, that is true as they are much lighter dishes than many curries. But in a Western context they are better described as lentils and pulses quickly stirfried with spices – black mustard seeds, asafoetida, ginger, red and green chillies. I love these dishes.

You might also like to try Urad Dal Sundal, Channa (Chickpea) Sundal, Sprouted Green Gram Sundal, and White Peas Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with Coconut, White Peas and Greeen Mango or some mung bean sprouts, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.

Continue reading “Rajma Sundal | Kidney Bean Sundal”

Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal | Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal

Mixing soft white peas with tangy green mango and milky coconut and adding a bit of heat – a wonderful combination.

This is a special Sundal, reminiscent of Summer and the beach, full of tangy goodness of green mango with the softness of the white peas and the comfort of coconut. It is no wonder it is often served on the beaches of Chennai.

Sundals, just to remind you, are often called “salads” but they are pre-cooked lentils and pulses stirfried quickly with spices – black mustard seeds, asafoetida, ginger, red and green chillies.

You might also like to try Rajma (Kidney Beans) Sundal, Mung Bean Sprout Sundal, Sprouted White Pea Sundal, and Sweet Corn Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with Masoor Dal (called red lentils in Australia) or some stir fried mung bean sprouts, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.

Continue reading “Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal | Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal”