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Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
Peel and crush the garlic. Peel the tomatoes by scoring the bottoms with a cross and then covering them with boiled water for a couple of minutes, until the skins come loose. Chop the tomatoes roughly and the coriander finely. Place the eggs in boiling water for 7 minutes, then run them under the cold tap and peel them. In a jug, stir together the tahini, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper.
When the lentils are cooked, melt the oil and butter in a large heavy pan (I use a wok). Throw in the garlic and cumin and cook for two minutes, then add the tomatoes, 40g of the chopped coriander and the drained lentils. Warm them through and add the tahini mixture. Cook gently, stirring, for a few minutes until creamy and warmed through. Taste and add more tahini if desired (the original recipe called for twice this amount, but I find it tastes too claggy.)
Plate up the lentils, drizzling each serving with a little olive oil. Serve with the eggs, remaining coriander and sliced onions, placed in small bowls on the table so everyone can help themselves.
Tahini is rich in B vitamins, iron and vitamin E, and it isn’t hard to come by. I found mine in the ‘foreign’ aisle of Tesco. Made from sesame seeds, it’s used more commonly to make humus. Puy lentils can be harder to find, but I’ve used green ones instead and it tastes just as nice.
The texture of these lentils is really moreish. Adding tahini makes them taste creamy, but then again humus tastes creamy, and who could eat a whole bowl of that? The addition of peeled tomatoes and lemon juice lifts the whole thing and gives it a more varied texture. It goes really well with the tangy onions and the eggs.
Just a note of caution – lentils are very filling, because they’re packed with protein and fibre. If you gobble this down too quickly (easily done), you might not get up again that day.
This recipe is adapted from one by the ever adventurous Yotam Ottolenghi. Don’t let that put you off – by his usual standards, this is dead easy.