Menopause Mezze: Middle Eastern Lentils
This flavoursome lentil dish is another moreish Middle Eastern menopause mezze meal.
Lentils are a great source of phytoestrogen which supply a mild natural food based oestrogenic effect in our bodies, and may help reduce menopause symptoms. They’re also high in fibre, useful in helping to reduce cholesterol levels. Combined with all the fresh herbs and spices this dish is a delicious and healthy menopause must.
Serve along with a dollop of our Tzatziki and flatbreads.
Serves: 4 as part of a mezze
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 - 60 minutes
This was adapted from a Jenny Chandler recipe
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 3 onions, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1tbsp Cumin seeds, toasted and then ground (to taste)
- Pinch of chilli flakes, or to taste
- 200g brown or green lentils
- 2 green peppers, seeds removed and quartered
- Juice of 1 lemon, to taste
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Fresh mint, torn
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onions. Cook over a low heat and allow the onions to soften, sweeten and turn gold. This may take about 20 minutes. Do not rush this part, it is important that the onions are sweet.
- Set aside half the onions, turn up the heat and add the garlic, cumin and chilli. Stir and when you can really smell the garlic add the lentils and enough water to cover them by 5cm/2in.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the lentils soften. You may have to top up the water if the lentils look dry but don’t add too much, you don’t want to drain away any of the delicious juices later.
- Meanwhile, heat the grill on high. Grill the pepper quarters skin-side up until the skin is blistered and blackened. Remove and allow to cool, the skin should have loosened from the pepper flesh. Once the peppers are cool enough peel off the skins. Thinly slice the peppers and set aside.
- Once the lentils are really soft, and this can take up to an hour, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stir in the coriander leaves and garnish with the remaining sweet fried onions, grilled peppers and mint.