Recipe: Crushed puy lentils with tahini and cumin

Rating: 4.4 stars based on 1238 reviews

This sustaining meal-on-a-plate is a little bit like hummus, though much easier and quicker to prepare. With warm flatbread, I could eat this every day. Serves two as a main, or four as a starter.


  • 200g puy lentils
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 medium tomatoes, skinned and cut into 1cm dice
  • 25g coriander leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ½ small red onion, peeled and sliced very thin
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered


  • Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook for 15-20 minutes, until completely cooked, drain and set aside.
  • Put the butter and oil in a large sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat.
  • Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cumin, and cook for a minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, 20g of coriander and the cooked lentils.
  • Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then add the tahini, lemon juice, 70ml of water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
  • Turn down the heat to medium and cook gently, stirring, for a few minutes more, until hot and thickened.
  • Roughly mash the lentils with a potato masher, so that some are broken up and you get a thick, porridge consistency.
  • Spread out the lentils on a flat platter, run a fork through to make a wavy pattern on top, and scatter on the sliced onion, the remaining coriander and a final drizzle of olive oil.
  • Serve warm with the hard-boiled eggs alongside.


    For the Tahini


    • The ratio I use is 1 cup sesame seeds to anywhere from 2 tablespoons of olive oil to 1/2 cup depending on how thick or thin I want it. 1 cup sesame seeds makes about 2/3 of a cup of tahini, depending on how much olive oil is used.


    • Lightly toast the sesame seeds over low heat about ten minutes, stirring often, don’t worry about getting a lot of color on them, like you would if toasting nuts. They’re fragile and burn easily, so watch them carefully.
    • Allow to cool off and then add them to the bowl of a food processor along with a 2 tablespoons of oil to start. You can also use a mortar and pestle.
    • Pulse until a paste forms, scraping down sides as needed and adding more olive oil to reach a consistency you like.
    • The homemade tahini will have a rougher texture than store-bought and may even be stronger in flavor. The reason being is the store-bought version uses hulled sesame seeds making for a smoother tahini. If you can, buy sesame seeds that are not hulled as they are more nutritious.
    • There you have it! Homemade tahini paste ready to be made into hummus, dressings, sauces, baba ghanoush, mixed into soups or made into sweet treats.


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