Weekend at the Cottage Symbol
  • Red Lentil Side Dish
  • Red Lentil Side Dish
  • Red Lentil Side Dish
  • Red Lentil Side Dish
  • Red Lentil Side Dish

Red Lentil Side Dish

Food | January 21, 2016 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.25 out of 5)
  • 45 Minutes
  • 6

This tangy RED LENTIL SIDE DISH – made with ginger, garlic, ground cumin, tomato paste and lemon – is a tasty addition to fish, lamb or poultry.

Many of the books I’ve been reading lately suggest adding legumes to our diets. These include peas, beans, carob, soybeans, peanuts (which in fact are legumes) and lentils. Legumes are a significant source of protein, dietary fiber, healthy fats and carbohydrates. If you’re not eating them already, maybe this RED LENTIL SIDE DISH recipe will inspire you to start!

This recipe comes together in about 40 minutes, and I love the heady aromas that fill my kitchen each time I make it. I also like the colour of the stewed lentils and their distinctively bright, spicy flavours that heighten with the final squeeze of lemon.

Here are my suggestions when you make it at home or at the cottage.

1) Always rinse your lentils in cold water before you start.

2) Chop the parsnips and carrots into equal-sized chunks so they cook evenly. The natural sweetness of these two root vegetables add a wonderful counterbalance to the heat of the ginger and jalapeño.

3) Don’t be shy with the fresh garlic and ginger; in fact, err on the side of more – you won’t be disappointed by the bold flavour profile.

4) If you can, toast and fresh-grind your cumin seeds.

5) Add less vegetable stock than the recipe calls for, and keep adding small amounts only as needed. The goal is to end up with a side dish that remains moist but not runny.

6) Once your lentils have cooked, remove them from the heat and allow them to sit covered for ten minutes. Then just add the lemon juice, stir, garnish and serve.

A winning combination of distinctly flavoured ingredients come together in this RED LENTIL SIDE DISH, yielding delicious results. This one you gotta try!



Ingredients & Amounts

  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, adding more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • garnish, chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and jalapeño; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrots and parsnips and stir until mixed.
  2. Add tomato paste and cumin, stirring until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils and enough vegetable stock to almost cover the vegetables. Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes, adding more stock as needed to maintain a wet mixture.
  5. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir gently. Transfer to service piece, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Listen on MUSIC

Listening to great music is an important part of every Weekend at the Cottage! I listened to Water In the Ground – Catherine MacLellan while making this recipe. MacLellan is a gifted Canadian artist who I can (and do!) listen to for hours. Visit iTunes to add this album to your collection.

Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.



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