Green Lentil Crostata

Photo by: panfusine

by panfusine

over 2 years ago

This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Lentils.

One of the most useful techniques to keep in mind while making any North Indian dish involving dried legumes is that the same combination of spices will taste different depending upon the choice of lentils or beans used. The variation in texture & mouth feel offered by mixing & matching these crucial protein sources goes a long way in sustaining a vegetarian way of life without any scope of impending boredom. The dish given below is a fusion crostata using Green lentils as the filling. The same proportions apply identically if the green lentils were substituted with Black eyed peas.

Serves 4

Green Lentil filling:

  • 1 cup Green lentils (with skin)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2-3 Cardamom pods (whole )
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2-3 dried Red chillies
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (Clarified butter) or oil (if vegan)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  1. In a pressure cooker combine green lentils , onion, turmeric and cardamom pods with 2 cups water & cook till soft. Set aside. If using the conventional technique, boil with adequate water till the lentils can be squished easily between fingers.
  2. Blend the ginger, garlic, red chillies, coriander, cumin and garam masala into a paste.
  3. In a skillet heat the oil/ghee and add the paste & cook till the raw smell disappears and the oil begins to ooze out from the sauteed paste.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes & salt and cook for ~ 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked lentils (or black eyed peas), lower heat & simmer for ~ 10-15 minutes till the flavors are well combined.


  • 1 packet store bought pizza dough
  • very thin slices of Paneer cheese (use a peeler) ; Omit if vegan
  • melted butter (or olive oil) as required
  • 2 tablespoons nigella seeds
  • Chopped cilantro for garnishing
  1. Roll pizza dough into a 6" circle.
  2. Line the centre (~ 4inch circle) with slices of paneer cheese.
  3. Spoon a tablespoon of the green lentil dal filling over the paneer. You may add some extra slivers of Paneer over the dal if desired.
  4. Bring the edges of the dough towards the center, pinching it together to form a tart.
  5. Brush with melted butter & sprinkle with nigella seeds
  6. Bake in a 350 F oven for ~ 15 minutes till the edges & base are golden brown.
  7. Cut into wedges & serve with a Tall Glass of Lassi... (or Lager!)

Nutrition Info:


  • 253 calories
  • 8g total fat
  • 4g saturated fat
  • 17mg cholesterol
  • 8mg sodium
  • 34g carbohydrate (16g dietary fiber, 3g sugar)
  • 13g protein
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