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10 March 2009

Spiced Haloumi and Lentil Salad

A haloumi and lentil salad is one of my favourite meals to make for lunch on a Saturday. I also make a very similar salad to take to work for lunch but add danish feta instead of haloumi.

I made this salad for dinner last night and served it with grilled chicken. In my quest to use the many, many spices that I have purchased, last night I sprinkled the haloumi with cumin and green cardamom - and the result was fantastic. The spices were delicious when fried with the haloumi and they formed a gorgeous, golden crust.

Normally when I make this salad I either serve it with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing, or lemon myrtle infused olive oil and lime juice. I recently purchased a bottle of pomegranate molasses and decided to try it with this recipe. Pomegranate molasses is pomegranate juice that has been reduced until it is thick and syrupy. It is wonderfully sour and tangy. And I think it works really well with the cumin and cardemom in this recipe. It is available from specialist delis, some greengrocers and some supermarkets (but not mine naturally). It is also available from Herbie's Spices (my new favourite shop - see http://www.herbies.com.au/). Don't be scared, give it a go!

Ingredients (serves 2 either as a side, or as a light lunch)

400g tin lentils drained and rinsed
A couple of handfuls of salad leaves washed and dried (I used baby spinach...yes, I love it)
Half a lebanese cucumber sliced
Half a small red onion finely diced
1 tablespoon pine nuts lightly toasted
A handful parsley and mint roughly chopped
125g cherry tomatoes halved
180g haloumi sliced into 1cm slices
Olive oil to fry

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground green cardamom
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons olive oil
Splash fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake to combine.

Combine lentils, salad leaves, cucumber, red onion, pine nuts, parsley, mint and tomatoes in a bowl.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Sprinkle cumin and cardamom over haloumi. Fry haloumi on each side for a few minutes until golden.

Add dressing to the salad and toss lightly. Serve salad with haloumi.

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