Egyptian Red Lentil Puree

large-bowl-red-lentilsWednesday is Recipe Day at Cooking Manager.

Red Lentil Puree

From Mediterranean Light by Martha Rose Shulman

Makes 4 servings

You can serve this attractive, vegetarian and gluten-free puree on the side, as an appetizer, or with salad and a sandwich for a light summer meal. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to prepare and about 40  minutes to cook.


  • 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
  • 1/2 pound (1-1/2 cups) small red lentils, washed and picked over
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and saute the onion and half the garlic over low heat until the onion is tender and beginning to color.
  2. Add the the lentils, cumin, and coriander, cover by 1 inch with water, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, checking the water from time to time and adding more if the lentils dry out.
  4. Add the remaining, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne, continue to simmer until the lentils are soft and beginning to disintegrate.
  5. Mash with the back of a spoon stirring often to prevent sticking, or coarsely puree in a food processor.
  6. Correct seasonings and serve, adding the lemon juice if you wish. The puree will keep 3 or 4 days.

Photo credit: whitneyinchicago


  1. I am a fan of red lentils but have never eaten them pureed. I should definitely try this.
    The link to the cookbooks seems broken.