Braised Lentil Tarts

A surprisingly delicious yet simple starter or main meal. Can be served as a gluten-free option or with puff pastry.


  • 1/2 to 1 tsp asafoetida OR 2 cloves of garlic and a small onion both diced. (Asafoetida is preferred here, as it is a great substitute for onion and garlic for those who can’t tolerate them – go easy on the amount until you know what works for you; it’s quite strong)
  • 2 cups diced Celery stalks (about 4)
  • 2 cups diced Carrot (about 3)
  • 2 cups Dried whole green lentils
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper – to taste
  • 2 tsp Grated fresh ginger
  • 2.5 tbsp Massel stock powder, chicken style
  • 5 to 6 cups of water


  1. Soak lentils in water for 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Put a little oil in a pot (large enough for all the ingredients) and add the asafoetida, pepper, celery and carrot – cook on medium for about 10 minutes stirring frequently (like a stir fry).
  3. Drain the lentils and add to the pot, stir frequently. Cook on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes (the idea is to slightly fry the lentils)
  4. Add water, ginger and stock, simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. The lentils should be soft enough to eat but not mush. If the lentils were soaked for a short time only then the cooking time might be longer.

Gluten-Free Option

For a gluten-free option, serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves without the pastry tarts OR use gluten-free vegan pastry (eg. Heaven’s Bakery brand).

Also be aware that many brands of asafoetida contain wheat, so check the ingredients. There are gluten-free versions available at some stores.

Tart Option

  1. Cut vegan puff pastry (eg. Borg’s brand puff pastry) into circles and press into a greased muffin tin.
  2. Spoon the lentil mixture into the pastry, and sprinkle grated vegan cheese (eg. Bio Cheese) on top with half a cherry tomato, and add pepper to taste.

That’s it! Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Recipe by Lindy Arc-Dekker

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