By Mayo Clinic Staff

Dietitian's tip:

This Moroccan-style dish is quick to assemble. Serve it as a side dish with roasted meats or fish. In larger portions, it also makes a satisfying main course.

Number of servings

Serves 6


  1. 1 1/4 cups dried red lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 1 bay leaf
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1/2 serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  12. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
  13. 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  14. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  15. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


In a saucepan over high heat, combine the lentils, water, bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the lentils are tender but still firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain and discard the bay leaf. Set aside.

In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chili and garlic and saute until softened, about 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the lentils and the spice mixture. Toss gently to mix. Stir in the parsley, cilantro and mint and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Stir in the vinegar and serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :About 1/2 cup

  • Total carbohydrate 25 g
  • Dietary fiber 12 g
  • Sodium 204 mg
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Total fat 5 g
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Protein 11 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Calories 189
  • Sugars 0

This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook," published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of the 2005 James Beard award.

Aug. 30, 2012