No Croutons Required - August 2011

The topic for August was Lentils. Any kind of lentils, made into a soup or salad. The only stipulation, that the recipe had to be suitable for vegetarians. I hope you enjoy the entries and don't forget to vote for you favourite.

1. Mellow-Yellow Mango Dal
R&R (Tadka Pasta)

Now doesn't the name of this dish immediately grab you? It caught my attention and I loved it even more once I read the list of ingredients. Mustard, cumin & fennel seeds, fresh ginger, red chillies, turmeric, asafoetida, mango, jaggery and cilantro. Mmmmmmmm, yum! It doesn't get much better than that.


2. Latin-Spiced Mango Lentil Salad
Janet (Taste Space)

Another great recipe name and such a pretty dish, just look at the colours. Gorgeous! I will have to give you Janet's description as it sums up the dishes nicely. "It is a lovely, light lentil salad infused with a savoury tomato-mango salsa. . I loved the background of the cinnamon and the bite the French lentils imparted to the salad."

Toronto, Canada

3. Muddy Soup
Johanna (Green Gourmet Giraffe)

Well, Johanna hasn't been so kind to her soup, calling it muddy and ugly. So mean! Especially because it must have tasted darn good. Carrots, celery ribs, baby kale leaves, button mushrooms, small potatoes, garlic clove, veggie hot dogs, yellow split peas, red lentils, mustard, smoked paprika, parsley and lemon juice. Now, doesn't that sound so, so good? I think we must demand that Johanna be kinder to her poor hardworking soups in future, don't you?

Melbourne, Australia

4. Urad Dal with Poppy Seeds & Coriander
Shaheen (Allotment 2 Kitchen)

Shaheen made us this lovely blonde dal with little specks of poppy seeds. I was really interested to find out out Urad Dal from Shaheen, she said that "Urad dal can be found in three forms. It can be found whole known as black gram (kali dal), the creamy lentil still in its jet black skin. Then you can then find it split in half with the skin still clinging on (split urad dal); and finally the lentil is not only split, the black skin has been completely removed exposing its pearly cream interior, known as urad dal.". Well I didn't know any of that. I will know what I am looking for now. Thank you Shaheen.

West of Scotland

5. Warm Pea and Lentil Salad Plus
Janice (Farmersgirl Kitchen)

This is Janice's first NCR and she has pulled it off with a real corker. Janice cooked up some brown rice as well as the lentils, added a red and a green pepper, a couple of tomatoes as well as peas and onions. Janice thought it would also be nice with some chopped mint through it or some feta cheese cubes. Mmmmmm, I am all for that. Most salads are finished off perfectly with a crumble of feta, well in my opinion anyway.

South West Scotland

6. Lentil Salad with Celery, Carrots, Chilli and Parsley
Francesca (Urbanethniccooking)

Next up we have a lovely fresh, zingy salad from Francesca. Lentils, carrots, celery, cucumber, red chilli, lemons, extra virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper and flat leaf parsley. Francesca suggests using lentils which hold their texture when cooked like Le Puy Lentils or Castelluccio for this salad. I love the lemon in this salad, it makes it really appealing.

London, England

7. Lentil Salad
Corina (Searching For Spice)

Corina simply named her salad, Lentil Salad, but it shouldn't be overlooked because of it's unprepossessing name. It is worth much more than that. Green lentils, cucumber, tomato, yellow, orange or red pepper, aubergine, olives, capers and lemon juice. Corina has been taking this salad to work for lunch because her husband doesn't like lentils. I just don't know how he could resist this salad.


8. Sambhar, a South Indian Spicy Lentil Soup or Stew with Vegetables
Magpie (Magpie's Recipes)

Before I speak about Magpie's dish, I have to mention the beautiful presentation, I mean just look at that photo, it is stunning. Magpie posted this recipe in celebration of India's 64th Independence Day and a worthy recipe it is too. This is a lovely spicy stew which is made by Magpie's Malayali mom, so sure to be the best. I fear we have a lot to learn about spices here in the UK.

SF Bay

9. Megadarra
Adam & Theresa (Yogi Kitchen)

If you are looking for something that is healthy and delicious, you need look no further than Adam & Theresa's Blog. The food is ever so tempting and the fact it is so good for you is just an added bonus and just to sicken you all, they are a lovely warm and friendly couple too. This time, they stuck to a really simple Egyptian sytle lentil dish. Green lentils, white rice, lemon, olive oil, parsley.

London (but soon to be India)

10. Lentil Coconut Stew
Denny (Oh Taste n See)

Isn't that gorgeous? Such pretty colours. I would love to shove this under someone's nose if they were ranting about vegetarian food and especially lentils being all brown and boring. Just watch that stew dazzle! Red lentils/masoor dal, coconut milk,
serrano chiles, onion, carrot & tomato. Excellent!

Seattle, USA

11. Salata Adas- Lebanese Lentil Salad with Cumin & Mint
Sweatha (TastyCurryLeaf)

A very elegant salad from Sweatha this month. I seem to be very drawn to the images this month. Sweatha explains why this salad is so versatile. "You can also have this as a mini meal or snack or light lunch and can even use this as a stuffing for tortillas /ricepaper rolls /pita breads.You can serve it with couscous of pasta mixed in for a hearty comforting meal.I had as a side salad and found it filling and comforting. The freshness of herbs with the comfort of the lentils is heartily appreciated."

Bangalore, India

12. Curried Quinoa Salad with Lentils
Valerie (City|Life|Eats)

A lovely round dozen with Valerie's salad closing the roundup. Valerie makes the most scrumptious lunches to take to work. I always leave inspired, impressed and feeling slightly lacking on the whole lunch front. Valerie brings the lunchbox to a whole new level and this salad is no exception. I would love to know what Valerie's colleagues think of her lunches. I bet they are slightly green with envy. Mmmmmm, I am drooling just thinking about this salad and my hubby would love it as it has cashews in it.

Washington, DC

UPDATE: I have a lost entry to add. If you would like to vote for it then please leave a comment or email me.

13. Celery & Lentil Soup
Helen (Fuss Free Flavours)

Maybe the number thirteen had a part to play in this lost post, but I am so glad we have the chance to share it. Doesn't it look droolworthy? Helen was pleased to use up some of the vegetables in her fridge to make this yummy soup. This gal hates waste. Celery, garlic, mixed lentils, cheese rinds from the freezer and green vegetables, yum. I would tell you about the shower scene, but I think you should go over there and find out for yourself.

London, UK

Eeeek! Another one missed out. Tip to self, don't blog whilst sleepy and needing to go to bed. I apologise profusely.

14. Lentil & Aubergine Salad
Vanessa (Sweet Artichoke)

This is one versitile salad. Vanessa says it is great as a salad, but add a little water and cook it longer and you have a gorgeous dal, add vegetable stock and blend for a tasty soup. Just brilliant. Brown lentils, urad dal, cumin, coriander, shallot, red bell pepper, chilli, aubergine, garlic, ginger and yoghurt. What a delicious list of ingredients.


Please do take the time to vote for your favourite. I know it is hard to choose. I would say go with your gut instinct, the one that calls out to you right away. They all call out to you, I hear you say. Well, I think that comes down to a game of "eeny, meeny, miny, moe".


  1. We all win when there are so many tasty salads! I am so inspired!

    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe... I choose the Megadarra! It has been on my hit-list for a while and I finally made a similar version today... but I like how t is just lemon and parsley instead.

  2. delicious looking roundup of yummy dishes

  3. We love our lentils and all the different ways of enjoying them. Looks like we're going to be adding to our repertoire, with all these wonderful salads and stews! thanks for a great round-up, love how you write about each dish, it makes us (and our dish) feel so special.

  4. All such healthy as well as tasty dishes. Good luck to the winner!

  5. They all look mighty fine. I wish all the participants luck as I'm finding it hard to choose one, even Johanna's ugly soup looks really good to me :D

  6. Wow, what a lot of lentils - hee hee! Some really inspiring stuff here, will have to go and find out how to make them.

    I'd have to vote for the Lentil Coconut Stew, it looks so vibrant and so different.

  7. What an entertaining read! Thanks for a lovely round up - I am sternly admonished for not being nice enough to my soup - will try to be much nicer in future :-)

    Lentils is such a great theme - they are so adaptable to so many wonderful dishes - lots to inspire me here

  8. A wonderful round up and anything with lentils has to be good!
    After much too-ing and fro-ing, and scrolling up and down, I vote for:
    7. Lentil Salad
    BUT, it was a hard decision!
    Well cooked all of you!

  9. No. 6 , the lentil salad wins my vote ... fresh and delicious !

  10. All of these look great - well, not perhaps, Muddy Soup; but that is the one I pick this time simply due to the fact that I think it's the best name ever for a soup - as so many of ours often turn out this way; tasting great, but lacking in the visual department.

  11. Has to be the lentil and coconut stew - that just sings to me though they all look scrummy. :-D

  12. I am taking note of all your votes. Glad you enjoyed the roundup :)

  13. Lentila and coconut stew sounds yummy!
    This is my first time to your blog and I have to say that I now have a huge list full of recipes that
    I can't wait to try out! I didn't even get through the first page before I was making notes! :)

  14. Am I still in time?
    I vote for:
    6. Lentil Salad with Celery, Carrots, Chilli and Parsley
    I love Lentils in salad and raw celery is my favorite vegetable!


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