Black rice, lentil and aubergine pilaf

Black rice, lentil and aubergine pilaf

Green Kitchen At Home
David Frenkiel

The taste, texture and visual aspects of this salad are all rather appealing. It’s packed with spices, has lots of filling elements and an armada of shades and colours. Technically, I would put this recipe somewhere in between a pilaf and a salad, as it has both the qualities of flavoured rice and a generous, hearty salad.


Quantity Ingredient
200g black or brown rice, rinsed, see recipe note
200g green lentils, rinsed
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 lemons, juiced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
A pinch sea salt flakes
1 aubergine, stem removed
1/2 cucumber, topped and tailed, halved and seeds removed
1/2 red onion, peeled
1 ripe avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out
100g spinach
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
20 unsulphured dried apricot halves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
full-fat plain unsweetened yoghurt
pistachio nuts, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place the rice, lentils, cardamom, salt and 1 litre water in a medium-sized saucepan, cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender and the water has been absorbed. Drain any excess water and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place half the oil, juice of 1 lemon, spices and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  4. Cut the aubergine into bite-sized pieces, add to the bowl, toss until well coated and transfer to the baking tray. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until tender and golden. Set aside to cool.
  5. In the meantime, slice the cucumber, finely slice the onion, cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces and roughly chop the spinach, mint and apricots.
  6. Put the rice and lentils in a serving bowl, add the remaining oil and juice of ½ lemon and toss to coat. Add the aubergine and the rest of the ingredients, season to taste and gently toss to combine. Serve topped yoghurt and pistachio nuts.


  • Rice can differ in cooking time. Choose a variety with the same cooking time as your lentils.


  • If you are sensitive to raw onion, massage the slices with 1 tbsp of lemon juice to make the flavour less intense and easier to digest.

    For a nut-free alternative, replace the pistachio nuts with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
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