Middle Eastern pilaff with tzatziki

Middle Eastern pilaff with tzatziki

6 as a side dish
20 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
Deidre Rooney

This is very autumnal and perfect as a side dish for spicy roast chicken or lamb.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
125g brown lentils
60ml olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
200g burghul
375ml chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 pitted dates, chopped
350g greek-style yoghurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
25g flaked almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds, for sprinkling

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 lebanese cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
1/2 lemon, juiced
15g chopped coriander


  1. Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook until soft but not falling apart, about 20–35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until soft but not coloured. Add 2 of the garlic cloves (finely chopped), the cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the burghul, stock, seasoning and dates. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the burghul is cooked, about 15 minutes.
  3. Make the tzatziki by combining the yoghurt with the remaining garlic (crushed), the remaining olive oil, the cucumber and mint. Stir gently to avoid squashing the cucumber.
  4. Drain the lentils, season with salt and pepper and stir in the extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Carefully fork the lentils through the burghul, along with the coriander and almonds. Check for seasoning. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve with the tzatziki.
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