Ethiopian Lentil Salad (Azifa)

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 T. finely sliced scallions, white part only
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • A pinch coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Berbere seasoning, optional
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 8 oz. mixed salad greens
  • 2 T. sliced almonds
  • 1/2 c. kalamata olives, optional
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese, optional

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover them with cold water. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, until they are just barely tender and still quite red. Drain and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process. Shake out all excess water and then put lentils into a large bowl. Add the carrot, tomatoes, and cucumber. Set aside.

Pour the oil into a small skillet and when it is hot, add the scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices (cumin seed through cardamon seeds) and cook for 1 minute. Add the lime juice and then pour over the lentils and vegetables. Season with salt and toss well to combine.

Line a serving platter with overlapping salad greens and then mound the lentil salad over them. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, add olives and feta cheese to the side, if desired, and serve.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
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