Celebrity square meals #27: Nadim Sawalha's Lentil Dream

Originally, I'm from Jordan and this is a recipe found right across the Middle East. Basically it's a lentil salad. I cooked this dish last night and I've also chosen the recipe because it's what Mohamed Al Fayed's mum would have prepared for him when he got home from school. I'm currently playing Al Fayed on stage. My daughter Julia [who plays Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous] is a vegetarian and we cook it for her when she comes to see us. You can have it hot or cold. I had some half an hour ago as my second breakfast with olive oil and thyme dip.

Ingredients

Half cup lentils
2 Half medium onions
1 large bunch coriander
Half head garlic, peeled
Quarter cup lemon juice
Half teaspoon pomegranate molasses - available from Greek and Turkish shops and supermarkets
Half cup olive and vegetable oils mixed
Half teaspoon salt
Quarter teaspoon cumin
Quarter teaspoon allspice

Slice the onions and fry in half the oil until brown but not burnt. Meanwhile, simmer the lentils in 2 cups of water for about 20 minutes. Chop coriander, mash garlic and fry both these in the rest of the oil until the coriander softens. Add this mixture to the onions then add half of it to the lentils. Add salt, spices, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with the remaining coriander and onion mixture - that's the beauty of it, it really makes the difference. Serve with rice and mixed salad.

'All I Want is a British Passport', written and performed by Nadim Sawalha, presented by the Tamasha Theatre Company, is at the Soho Theatre (020-7478 0100) until 13 March.

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