Moroccan Lentils

IMG_0757 (1024x745) Back to Morocco; how I have missed my friends and travels but I will continue to share recipes from my photos and memories.  Hopefully one day soon, I will return for new adventures and to re-live some old ones.

I loved having ‘assorted Moroccan salads’ as an appetizer at most meals.  There was always one legume salad, the last one I posted was Loubia, prepared with white beans.  Today I share a recipe for lentil salad, similar to the one front and centre that I had below at a meal in Fes.

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Assorted Moroccan Salads from my meal at a restaurant in the medina in Fes.

I found a great recipe to emulate the flavour and texture in my memory of that dish.  I am a great fan of  Canadian Chef Michael Smith who is a spokesperson for Lentils Canada and his handle is ‘Lentil Hunter’.  He has done a series of international lentil recipes and the one from his Marrakesh, Morocco travels is perfect.  Check out his lentil series, with recipes from Canada, Morocco, Italy, France, United Arab Emirates and India here.  Watch videos of Chef Smith’s travels and the recipes that he prepared for each location.

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What makes these Moroccan Lentils so delicious are the spices.  While in the marketplaces in Morocco, I bought many of the spices to bring home.  Above is all that I have left of my turmeric, paprika and cumin batches and I save them for Moroccan recipes.  IMG_0751 (1024x968)   The ingredients for this lentil dish are two cups of green lentils,  and a combination of powdered ginger, paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  My dish of spices above remind me of the displays of spices at one of the spice stalls below.

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A spice stall in Rissani, Morocco

I made 2 alterations to the recipe.  The first was to substitute a grated onion for a finely chopped onion.  The second was a cup of strained pureed tomatoes for 2 grated tomatoes.  Add two heaping tablespoons of tomato paste (and the parsley for a final addition) are all that are needed.  IMG_0754 (1024x916)Put all the ingredients (except the parsley) into a pot with six cups of water and bring to a rolling boil.  Then lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes.  After tasting for tenderness (and they will smell delicious), turn off the heat and rest for 10 minutes.  If you are using chopped parsley, add it at the last minutes before serving.

IMG_0755 (1024x823)I did not have parsley in the version that I had in Morocco but it adds colour, texture and additional freshness to the dish.  And who am I to argue with the Lentil Hunter?IMG_0758 (1024x840)

 Moroccan Lentils

2 cups green lentils
1 finely chopped onion
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup passata (pureed, strained tomatoes)
2 tbsp tomato paste, heaping
6 cups water
Handful tender parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 loaf rustic round bread, cut in wedges

  1. Measure all the ingredients, except the parsley and bread, into a medium sauce pan. Over medium high heat, while stirring gently, bring the works to a full, furious boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cover and continue cooking until the lentils are tender and aromatic, about 30 minutes.  Taste them to ensure that they are soft and delicious.
  3. Turn off the heat and rest for 10 minutes or longer. At the last minute, stir in the parsley, if using. Pour the lentils into a bowl and serve with the bread wedges for soaking up all the flavour.




  1. Can we organize a dinner at your place. Make it a fund raiser for JET and I’ll surely pay just to experience all the tastes and colours of your menu. MMMMMMMM. Just a thought. I’d love to taste that lentil dish.

    1. Shucks Beryl, you flatter me! I’ll invite you over one day and I’ll show you how it is to prepare and how delicious too! Take care!!

  2. Lesley · · Reply

    This is simple and easy and freezes well too! Thanks!

    1. Wonderful so glad it froze well!!

  3. Lesley · · Reply

    Would this recipe work with red lentils/

    1. No, red lentils get too mushy.

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