We usually like to keep things simple: simple jokes, simple pleasures, and simple ingredients. This time, we took a different turn, though. But vegan Beluga Lentil Salad doesn’t sound super complicated, does it? Well, you’ll actually need a weird ingredient to make this dish. Amba is a strange, super pungent sauce made of fermented green mango and fenugreek.
It smells kinda funky, and the smell will last on you and in your apartment for three beautiful days. It’s an acquired taste and a highly debatable topic in Israel (where Uri is from). You either love it or hate it – but you will probably love it. Mixing amba with tahini milds down the strong flavor without hiding it. It’s a perfect match. But amba is a bit tricky to find. We had a very long, very emotional debate if we really wanted to publish this recipe. But it’s just too good.
The earthy beluga lentils balance out the intense flavors of the sauce. Just make sure not to overcook the lentils. We want them creamy on the inside but with a bit of texture.
Lentils with a creamy sauce, this already sounds like a pretty good dish, right? We could stop here, but we always had to exaggerate a bit. We like to combine creamy textures with a bit of crunch to keep things interesting. This vegan beluga lentil salad is no exeption.
The fresh salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs gives the dish the freshness it deserves. The salad again fits wonderfully into the category “looks fancy, but is super easy to make.” It’s perfect for a (vegan) feast with friends or family if you want to impress your folks with something they have never tasted before. It goes perfectly with our flatbread.
Vegan Beluga Lentil Salad
For the lentils:
- 250 g beluga lentils
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 pinch salt
For the mago sauce:
- 100 g tahini
- 30 g amba hot mango pickle
- 10 g lemon juice
- 80 g water
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tbsp cumin powder
For the salad:
- 3-4 small cucumbers halved and sliced 10-12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2-3 green chilies optional
- 3 sprigs of mint sliced
- 2 handful parsley chopped
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- juice of 1 lemon minus 10 g… olive oil
- First, place the lentils and garlic in a pot and cover with a lot of cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to minimum. After 18 minutes, add salt, let cook for 2 more minutes, then strain. Discard the garlic.
- Make the mango sauce by pureeing all of the ingredients till you reach a smooth thick consistency.
- Mix the salad together.
- When the lentils have chilled slightly, mix with the sauce, then top with the salad.