Healthy and Vibrant Green Lentil Salad Recipe

Are you looking for a hearty and healthy salad recipe that’s packed with flavor and nutrients? Look no further than this Green Lentil Salad, also known as Azifa in Ethiopian cuisine.

This salad is perfect for those who prefer plant-based meals, as it is entirely vegan without sacrificing taste or texture. It’s also an excellent option for meal prepping, making it perfect for busy individuals who want to have a quick and nutritious meal on hand.

The blend of fresh herbs, vegetables, and spices in this salad makes it a unique addition to your meal rotation. Plus, the green lentils offer a good source of protein and fiber, which keeps you satisfied and nourished throughout the day.

In this recipe article, I’ll guide you through every step of creating this deliciously wholesome salad that’s sure to impress your taste buds. With straightforward instructions, helpful tips, and interesting variations, even beginner cooks can master this Ethiopian specialty. So let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Green Lentil Salad (Azifa)
Green Lentil Salad (Azifa)

Trust me when I say that this Green Lentil Salad, also known as Azifa in Ethiopia, will be your new favorite salad recipe! Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or just love healthy food, this easy and healthy lentil salad recipe is perfect for you.

Firstly, if you’re a fan of Ethiopian food or love exploring international flavors, then this Azifa Ethiopian Lentil Salad is right up your alley. This dish is popular in Ethiopia and is considered a staple food in their cuisine. By trying out this recipe, you’ll get a taste of Ethiopian culture without having to leave your home.

Secondly, the combination of green lentils and fresh vegetables make this salad a great source of protein and nutrients. Lentils are loaded with fiber, minerals like iron and potassium, and provide a low glycemic index making them great for blood sugar control. Adding chopped veggies like red onions and tomatoes ensure you’re getting your daily dose of vitamins and antioxidants.

Thirdly, the dressing used in this recipe is what really takes it to the next level. The mix of prepared mustard, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and green chili pepper gives the dish a spicy kick that enhances the natural flavors of the lentils and veggies. It’s simple yet flavorful!

Lastly, this salad is perfect for meal prep or to bring to a picnic or gathering. You can easily make a big batch at once because it stores well in the refrigerator for several days. Plus, it’s versatile – works well as a side dish or can be made into a main meal by adding some protein like grilled chicken or tofu.

So go ahead and try out this vegan Green Lentil Salad (Azifa) Recipe! It’s packed with flavor, nutrients, and easy to make – perfect for any occasion!

Ingredient List

 A bowl of pure goodness is waiting for you!
A bowl of pure goodness is waiting for you!

Ingredient List

For this Azifa recipe, these are the ingredients that you will need:

  • 1 cup of green lentils, soaked overnight (8 oz)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 medium mild green chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure to soak the lentils overnight for optimal results. You can also adjust the amount of chili pepper according to your spice preference.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready for an explosion of flavor!
Get ready for an explosion of flavor!

Now that we have gone through the ingredient list, let’s dive into the how-to of making this scrumptious dish .

Step 1: Soak the Green Lentils

Soak one cup of green lentils in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Rinse and drain the lentils before cooking them.

Step 2: Cook the Lentils

In a pot, add 1 and ½ cups of water to the soaked lentil and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Once it boils, reduce to low heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentil is completely soft when bitten into. Remove from heat once cooked.

Step 3: Prepare the Vegetables

two medium ripe tomatoes, one medium red onion, and two green chili peppers (seeds removed for less spiciness).

Step 4: Make the Salad Dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together three heaping tablespoons of prepared mustard, four tablespoons of olive oil, six tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and one minced garlic clove.

Step 5: Combine All Ingredients

: In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together, including the cooked green lentils, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, seeded finely chopped chili peppers, and dressing until well combined.

Step 6: Chill Before Serving

For the best results , cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a lid and then put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This lets all flavors meld together creating a delicious taste .

That’s it! Your Azifa Ethiopian Lentil Salad Recipe is now ready to serve.

Substitutions and Variations

 Mmm… just looking at this salad makes me crave it more!
Mmm… just looking at this salad makes me crave it more!

Are you looking to change up this green lentil salad recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try!

1. Spice it up: If you want to add a little more heat to your Azifa, try using hotter peppers or adding extra chili flakes.

2. Swap out the veggies: Use whatever vegetables are in season! You can use cucumbers, bell peppers, or even shredded carrots.

3. Change the acid: Instead of lemon juice, try using lime juice for a different flavor profile.

4. Add some fruit: If you want to add some sweetness, try adding diced mango or pineapple to the salad.

5. Protein Boost: Adding boiled eggs makes this dish protein-packed dish and very filling

6. More Legumes: Adding chickpeas, black beans or any type of beans of your choice makes this into a heartier dish.

7. Mix it up: Use a blend of lentils like French green lentils & red split-lentils which makes an excellent contrast in texture.

However, keep in mind that altering ingredients will also alter the taste drastically. Remember anyone who tries something out of their comfort zone will be rewarded with new flavors they may have never experienced before!

Serving and Pairing

 A colorful and healthy meal for everyone to enjoy!
A colorful and healthy meal for everyone to enjoy!

One of the many delightful things about lending lentil salad is its versatility. It can easily be served either hot or cold or as a side dish or a main course. I recommend serving this flavorful azifa green lentil salad cold, giving it ample time to marinate and infuse with all the delicious flavors.

As a side dish, this savory salad pairs well with an array of traditional Ethiopian dishes such as injera, doro wat or tibs. The spicy tones of the Azifa Ethiopian lentil complements the rich and bold flavors of these other dishes quite nicely. If you can find some good injera, serving it alongside the Azifa Green Lentil Salad will make for an authentic and satisfying Ethiopian meal.

This salad is not limited to only Ethiopian cuisine; it makes an excellent addition to any meal. It pairs well with grilled chicken or fish and works wonders as a vegetarian option when accompanied by roasted vegetables or grains. Drizzle some olive oil on top and enjoy!

As for drinks, this salad goes perfectly with a crisp white wine or a chilled beer. A chilled Ginger Beer would also be refreshing to complement the spiciness in the salad.

No matter how you decide to serve this delicious vegan green lentil salad from Ethiopia, one thing is certain – it will not disappoint!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Let the vibrant colors of this salad brighten up your day.
Let the vibrant colors of this salad brighten up your day.

Once you have prepared your flavorful Azifa Green Lentil Salad, it’s time to think about how to store and reheat it. If you need to prepare this vegan Green Lentil Salad ahead of time, you should keep the dressing separate from the salad until you are ready to serve it. This way, the vegetables and lentils will stay crisp, and the spices will maintain their potency.

When it comes to storing leftover Azifa Ethiopian Lentil Salad, you need to be extra careful. Make sure that it is cooled completely before transferring it into an airtight container. You can store this salad in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Reheating this salad is simple; remove the desired amount from your storage container and warm it in the microwave or in a pot over low heat. Since this dish contains tomatoes and other vegetables, overheating may lead to sogginess and loss of flavor.

It is important to note that if you intend to store leftovers of this delicious Ethiopian salad recipe, avoid adding avocado or lime juice since these ingredients can make the ingredients mushy quite quickly. Plus, the avocado will brown quickly when exposed to air.

With these tips at your fingertips, there’s no reason why your leftover Azifa Ethiopian Green Lentil Salad won’t be just as tasty as when freshly prepared. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 One bite of this Azifa and you'll be hooked!
One bite of this Azifa and you’ll be hooked!

To ensure that your Azifa (Green Lentil Salad) turns out perfectly, follow these helpful tips.

Firstly, remember to soak the lentils overnight. This helps to reduce their cooking time and makes them easier to digest. You can soak them in a bowl of water or in the pot you plan on using to cook them.

When it comes to cooking the lentils, make sure to use the right amount of water. For every 1 cup of lentils, add 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes until tender but not mushy.

It’s important to seed and finely chop the green chili peppers used in this recipe, as well as seed and chop the tomatoes and red onions. This ensures that your salad has a pleasant texture and all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.

For added flavor, try using freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of store-bought bottled juice. Additionally, consider using a high-quality olive oil for a richer flavor profile.

Finally, be sure to mix all of the ingredients thoroughly before serving. This ensures that each bite contains a little bit of everything and that the flavors are evenly distributed. Serve chilled or at room temperature alongside some fresh bread or as a side dish for your favorite meal.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Green Lentil Salad (Azifa) recipe is not only easy and healthy, but it is also a popular Ethiopian salad that can be enjoyed as a meal on its own or as a side. This flavorful and spicy dish is perfect for vegans and vegetarians alike, as it is full of protein and fiber. With its simple ingredients like green lentils, red onion, tomatoes, green chili pepper, prepared mustard, olive oil and fresh lemon juice, this lentil salad can be made easily in your kitchen.

By following the steps and tips mentioned above, you can create the perfect Azifa Ethiopian Lentil Salad for your next meal. Substitutions and variations can be made based on your preferences to make this dish unique to your taste buds. You can also pair this delicious salad with other Ethiopian dishes like soup or vegetable dishes for a complete dining experience.

Whether you are cooking Ethiopian food for the first time or are already an expert in the cuisine, this recipe is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Try it out today and enjoy the rich flavor of Ethiopia in your own home.

Green Lentil Salad (Azifa)

Green Lentil Salad (Azifa) Recipe

From: “The Essential African Cookbook” by Rosamund Grant.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Ethiopian
Calories 349.8 kcal


  • 1 cup green lentil, soaked overnight (8 oz)
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Place the lentils in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 45 minutes until soft, drain, then turn into a bowl and mash lightly with a potato masher.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Chill before serving as an accompaniment to a meat or fish dish.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 180gCalories: 349.8kcalCarbohydrates: 36.4gProtein: 13.5gFat: 17.6gSaturated Fat: 2.4gSodium: 15.1mgFiber: 16gSugar: 4.7g
Keyword < 60 Mins, African, Beans, Lentils, Vegan, Vegetable
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