I recently had a flashback moment with this wonderful crunchy lentil salad. I became acquainted with this recipe through a person that I subscribed to on YouTube, she had a host of cooking videos on her favourite list and one of them happened to be when Padma Lakshmi featured on the Ellen show.
As I watched I relished the idea of incorporating vegetables with apples, infact that was my only reason for trying the recipe. My curious nature wouldn’t allow me to by pass this golden opportunity. After all it looked fun, simple and appetising, why wouldn’t I cook this meal? It was everything I could have ever dreamed for at that moment in time.
Needless to say the meal was a hit, to the point where I repeatedly made this dish for a whole week. Actually that’s a half truth it was convenient for my student life, so making a big batch was handy to eat around a busy school life.
The taste is wonderful, a hint of citrus from the lemon, sweet crunchiness from the coconut topping and apple and an array of healthy carbohydrates from the assortment of vegetables. The lentils lend a generous boost of protein power.
I would sum this up as a perfect vegan meal and definitely something to consider as a recovery dish after an arduous workout session. I’m conflicted in terms of where to categorise this meal in my recipe index. It’s suitable for both lunch and dinner hence the title of my post.
Don’t forget to place the apple in some water with himalayan pink salt to decrease the chance of the fruit becoming too dark. I recommend serving immediately or as cold dish (do not reheat). Store the leftovers in the refrigerator. The vinegar which Padma uses in the original recipe is quite acidic and some people have problems with digesting potent liquids (p.s I’m not overly enthusiastic about vinegar anyway)
- 1 cup of Lentils (any kind I used green lentils)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- ½ tbsp of black pepper
- ¼ tsp of himalayan pink salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 apple, cored and diced (once cut toss into a bowl with water and pink salt to omit darkening)
- 1 cup of loosely packed fresh parsley and coriander, stems removed
- 2tbsp of olive oil
- For the topping
- 2 tbsp of sesame oil
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of grated ginger
- ¼ cup of desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp of mustard seeds
- Start off by washing the lentils and simmering on low heat in the 4 cups of water for roughly 25 minutes. The lentils should be tender not mushy, you can determine the tenderness by pressing gently with a fork.Once cooked remove from heat drain and discard the water and set to one side.
- Preheat the olive oil in a frying pan on low heat, then add the bell peppers, carrots, celery, black pepper and salt. Sautee for 5-7 minutes, flipping and tossing the vegetables to ensure the oil has coated each piece. Set to one side to cool down.
- Once both vegetables and lentils have cooled completely transfer into a large bowl.
- Add the parsley/coriander mix, lemon and apple into the bowl and work in the condiments using both hands.
- In a frying hand preheat the sesame oil on medium heat. When hot gently stir in the ginger, coconut and black mustard until toasted. The mustard seeds may begin the crackle.
- Sprinkle the coconut garnish over the lentils and serve.
If not eating immediately make sure to submerge the apples in saline water to lessen darkening.
If using canned lentils, you can skip the simmering stage and move onto the second step.