Black lentil, citrus & mint salad – This simple, yet very flavorful and nutritious recipe is very quick and easy to make, requires less than 5 ingredients, is vegan and made of super-foods. Try it out. You will love the simplicity and flavor fullness of this salad. The lemon/citrus zest is the secret magical ingredient in this recipe and just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon will take the flavor and taste of this salad several notches high. The salad is rich in protein, which can help boost immunity in these times when it’s needed the most.
This salad is vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, rich in Protein and Vitamin-C.
Please note: These black lentils are slightly different than Urad dal. These are Beluga lentils – look like small discs (as seen in the close-up picture below). I am sure one can make a similar salad using Urad dal as well, but I haven’t tried it yet.
These black lentils are very flavorful and called the caviar of lentils. They hold their shape well and glisten when cooks.
The key secret to making this a very refreshing and flavorful salad is using lemon zest. It adds a nice zing to the salad. Lemon zest is the top most layer of the lemon. To zest the lemon, you can use either a zester or a grater. Make sure to zest or grate only the top layer and not the white pith that lies beneath it as that pith tastes bitter. In addition, the very finely chopped mint leaves creates a very refreshing taste.
Once you use lemon zest in this salad, you would want to add it to a lot more salads and recipes.
Black Lentil Citrus Mint Salad
- 1 cup Black lentils These are black beluga lentils, slightly different from black urad dal. These look like small discs.
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt go very low on salt to enhance the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Lemeon zest
- 2 tablespoons Mint very finely chopped
- 1 qty Orange or Tangerine Optioinal. In case you have lemon, you can use that
- 1/2 tablespoon Olive oil you can use any oil in case you don't have olive oil
- Soak lentils.Soak black lentils for 2 hours (or more). This recipe can be made without soaking as well, but soaking really helps with digestion and helps it to cook fast.
- Boil the lentils until el dente.Once soaked, wash the lentils well a couple of times with fresh wateer, and finally drain out the water.Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a couple of drops of oil. As mentioned in the ingredients section, add very little salt. Once the water boiling, add the washed lentils and cook it until it's soft, el dente but not mushy. Mine took only 7-8 minutes. Keep checking in between as you really don't want mushy lentils for this salad. Once it's done, drain out all the water.
- Finely chop mint leaves.Very finely chop the mint leaves.
- Zest the lemon. Using a lemon zester or grater, zest or grate only the top layer of the lemon and not the white pith that lies beneath it as that pith tastes bitter.
- Char lemon/orange slices.Heat a griddle/pan. Slice the lemon or orange/tangerine. Put it on griddle and/pan let it caramelize until it gets a bit charred (black marks). Turn it on the other side. This process will take only 3-4 minutes. Is ok to leave the peels of lemon or orange on – these taste flavorful.
- Assemble the salad.Put boiled lentils on a plate, add finely chopped mint leaves, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of olive oil or other oil. Mix well. Add the charred lemon/orange slices on top of it. Enjoy!
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Can this salad be made using other types of lentils?
Yes, you can replace black lentils with any other kind of lentils eg. brown lentils, green lentils, moong bean etc. The cooking time may differ slightly depending upon the type of lentils.
Should Black Lentil salad be served warm or cold?
This Salad tastes great when served either warm or cold.
Enjoy this Salad with the following Soups:
If you like this Salad, you may also enjoy the following Salad recipes: