Fried lentils

October 14, 2011  •  Category:


Najmieh Batmanglij in her New Food of Life describes a popular street food in Iran as being popped lentils: Lentils fried in oil and eaten as is.

The idea intrigued me and I tried it with some adjustments: Parboiled the lentils till soft, pan-fried them in olive oil and seasoned them with salt, Aleppo pepper and cumin.

Served in a bowl and eaten with one’s fingers.

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 cup of lentils
  • Spices: Salt, 1 tsp Aleppo pepper (substitute paprika or chili powder), 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil


  1. Boil the lentils in several cups of water till tender; drain and spread on paper towels to dry for one hour or so.
  2. Heat the olive oil and pan-fry the lentils for a few minutes; season the lentils and transfer to a bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.


23 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Nicole says:

    I have that book!! (Ashamed to say I’ve never made anything from it, I treat it more like a museum piece) but i must say you make it look easy (and delicious as always)
    Bon weekend!

  2. MEMORIESandCOLORS says:

    Got to try this dish! feeling hungry by just looking at it!

  3. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Ooo – maybe this will become a popular street food in the U.S.!

  4. Richa@HobbyandMore says:

    This is such a healthier and yummy snack!. i love this snack !

  5. Rosa says:

    Mmmhhh, that dish is great! I like everything about it.



  6. deana says:

    I must see what happens if you pop a lentil raw??? Would it soften it or would it still be hard as a rock??? Interesting notion but I think I would try your method first!!! It looks delicious and I do love aleppo pepper!

  7. Joanne says:

    The crispy outside on those lentils must be so delicious!

  8. lisaiscooking says:

    This is like lentil popcorn, and I love popcorn! What a fantastic and healthy snack. I definitely have to try this.

  9. Caffettiera says:

    This surely must be snack heaven.

  10. T.W. Barritt says:

    Since this was an inspiration, were you happy with the results? It is an intriguing recipe.

  11. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    This is going to be my snack for this afternoon. It will be healthier than eating potato chips!

  12. Sandhya says:

    I find it fascinating how many similarities there are between Iranian and Indian dishes.
    Around New Delhi, split yellow mung is parboiled and deep fried then seasoned with black salt.This is had with tea as an afternoon snack.
    I have roasted lentils for certain recipes. It has never popped only got burnt! Then again I wasn’t trying to pop them, so maybe with a different method it could.

  13. Alaiyo Kiasi says:

    I have lentils–brown, green, and red–in such volume that it would be foolish of me not to give this Fried Lentil recipe a try. I know my lentil-loving husband and son would enjoy lentils as a snack.


  14. Oui, Chef says:

    I adore lentils but have never had them fried, they look amazing.

  15. Kalyn says:

    They sound really fantastic!

  16. heguiberto says:

    This looks good, what a great snack food. I am surprised that the big food companies haven’t found a way to market it here is the US. I keep thinking of corn nuts when I look at these lentils. I bet its much more nutritious, lentils pack a lot of protein I’ve got to try it. We love Najmieh’s cooking.

  17. domi says:

    Etonnante cette recette, je ne savais pas que l’on pouvait frire des lentilles…

  18. Sarah says:

    Made fried lentils 2 times and I’m going to make it tonight too. I’ve changed the recipe to my taste and I added caramelize onions and changed the spices to what I have at home. LOVE IT!

  19. Natalie says:

    Looks great! I’ve never had fried lentils.

  20. Carol C says:

    I just made these, they are wonderful!!!!

  21. Dee says:

    Wonderful recipe!
    Very tasty.
    Greetings from Estonia.

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