Spicy Baked Lentils with Eggs

From issue #3.
Photography by Photography by Simon Devitt.
Spicy Baked Lentils with Eggs

This combination of ingredients may at first seem a little strange, but we can assure you they work very well together – everyone will want a second helping!

Serves: 6


1 ½ cups Puy lentils
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 red capsicum thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
6 eggs
¼ cup water


Wash the lentils in cold running water, drain and put in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender, drain and set aside

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Use an ovenproof fry pan or gratin dish. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the onion, capsicum and salt and sauté gently until soft.

Add the coriander seeds, cumin, chilli flakes (add more or less depending on how hot you like it) and turmeric.
Sauté for a few minutes, add the lentils, stir well to combine then add most of the coriander leaves, leaving a little to garnish. Off the heat, make evenly spaced hollows in the lentils with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into each. Try and keep the yolks whole.

Season the eggs with salt and pepper and a little extra chilli if you like. Carefully pour over the water and place the dish in the oven. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes for a soft baked egg, a little longer if you prefer your eggs well done.

Serve with tzatziki (plain yoghurt with garlic, and mint), harissa (North African chilli paste), and crisp flatbreads. Serves 6

Puy Lentils: A tiny French lentil that has a very superior flavour. Greenish grey in colour, they retain their shape
and texture when cooked, without going mushy. Available from speciality stores nationwide.

Wine Match: Gisselbrecht Pinot Gris 2003 $20-$30
Beautiful spice and musk characters on the palate of this wine cope well with the multitude of flavours in this dish.