Here’s a delicious, simple and refreshing salad that is perfect for summer. It’s a colourful and satisfying meal that has a wonderful mixture of complementing flavours and textures and is packed with plant-based protein, gut loving fibre and good bacteria.
A raita and lentil salad is the ideal, make ahead meal, that actually tastes even better once it has rested for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Make each component separately then pack in jars for work lunches, picnics in the park or serve it in individual bowls or on a large share plate for friends and family.
Lentils are a nourishing base to a healthy meal. We used Puy lentils (also called French lentils) because they don’t need to be soaked and cook quickly. Unlike other lentils, Puy keep their shape after cooking, which makes them perfect for salads. These powerful little pulses have a wonderful earthy and unique peppery flavour that taste incredibly delicious teamed with cooling homemade yogurt raita and salsa.
The yogurt and salsa layers are quick and simple to make and can be prepared while the lentils are simmering. The raita pictured is 100% plant-based and is made with homemade coconut yogurt but please choose the homemade yogurt that suits your dietary preferences. Find all of our homemade yogurts recipes here.
Makes: 2 jars but multiply the ingredients for more servings.
½ cup (100 grams) Puy French lentils
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove - peeled and squashed
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon premium olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) homemade yogurt (dairy or non-dairy)
¾ cup finely chopped cucumber (approx. 1 small cucumber)
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Cracked pepper to taste
Chilli flakes (optional)
1 mango cheek - diced
6 cherry tomatoes
6 fresh mint leaves – chopped
1 spring onion - chopped
1 teaspoon of premium olive oil
Pepitas – preferably activated
Premium olive oil to drizzle
Coriander leaves to garish
1. Measure the lentils into a strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any discoloured lentils or debris then thoroughly rinse under running water.
2. Transfer the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and then add the water, bay leaf and garlic.
3. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 - 25 minutes. Add additional water if needed to make sure the lentils don’t boil dry.
4. The lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender and no longer crunchy.
5. Strain the lentils and remove the bay leaf and garlic.
6. Return the lentils to the pot and stir in the salt, pepper and olive oil then allow to cool.
7. Divide the lentils between two bowls or glass jars.
Note: Lentils will keep for up to a week, sealed in the fridge.
8. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until the herbs and spices are well incorporated.
9. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice to taste.
10. Spoon on top of the lentils.
11. Toss all the salsa ingredients in a small bowl to combine.
12. Spoon on top of the cucumber raita.
13. Drizzle with additional olive oil or garnish with ingredients of your choice.