Date & Tamarind Lentils | Abel & Cole
Date & Tamarind Lentils
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Beautifully soft, mildly spiced lentils are a winning winter warmer. Meltingly sweet dates are tempered with tangy tamarind and the crunchy vibrant pop of pomegranate seeds.
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781 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 150g dried red lentils
  • 150g white basmati rice
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A thumb of ginger
  • 50g dried dates
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 40g tamarind
  • 1 pomegranate
  • A handful of mint, leaves only
From your kitchen
  • 300ml + 300ml boiling water
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Tip the lentils into a bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside. Tip the rice into a bowl and cover with cold water. Whisk for 1-2 mins till the water goes cloudy. Drain, rinse and tip into a small pan.

  • 2.

    Add 300ml boiling water and a pinch of salt to the rice. Cover and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down under the rice and simmer for 8 mins till all the water is absorbed. Take off the heat, uncover and lay a clean tea towel over the top. Put the lid back on and leave the rice to steam in the pan. It'll keep warm while you make the lentils.

  • 3.

    While the rice cooks, peel and finely chop the onion and carrots. Warm a pan over a medium-low heat, then add 1 tbsp oil, the onion and carrots. Season. Cook for 5 mins, stirring now and then, till the veg are soft and glossy.

  • 4.

    While the veg sweat, crush 4 cardamom pods and 2 whole cloves together in a mortar and pestle, discarding the papery cardamom husks. Roughly chop the dates. Peel and grate the garlic and ginger.

  • 5.

    Add the spices to the veg along with the cinnamon stick. Stir together and cook for a further 1-2 mins.

  • 6.

    Drain the lentils and add them to the pan. Stir in the dates, garlic, ginger and tamarind. Add 300ml boiling water. Cover and bring to the boil.

  • 7.

    Once the lentils are boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 mins till the lentils are thick. Stir now and then – if they stick, add a splash more water. The lentils will suck up all the liquid, but they shouldn’t be dry and solid.

  • 8.

    While the lentils cook, halve the pomegranate. Hold one half in your hand, cut-side down, over a bowl and whack with a wooden spoon to shake out the seeds. Repeat with the other half.

  • 9.

    Taste the lentils and add more salt and pepper if needed. Fluff the rice with a fork and spoon into bowls. Top with the lentils, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves to garnish.

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