Main Dish Vegetarian

Lentil Tacos with Cilantro Yogurt

November 2, 2011

I first heard about these Lentil Tacos at Food Blog Forum. And yes, I say “heard” because I was too busy running around to stop and watch Arnold Myint make them. Big mistake. Big, big mistake. But lucky for me, my friend Lesley over at Lesley Eats not only paid full attention, but swiped the leftovers and then made her own at home! She’s a smart cookie that one. I couldn’t wait to try this recipe myself. I had a bunch of cilantro leftover from making butter chicken (the recipe that converted me to a cilantro lover), and this was the perfect way to use it.

Lentil Tacos with Cilantro Yogurt

So, how’s it taste?

It’s fantastic! I was a bit worried when I tasted the lentil mixture and thought it didn’t have enough flavor, but once you bring everything together and top with the cilantro yogurt, I couldn’t stop stuffing my face. I used yellow lentils instead of black because I have a boatload of them in my pantry. I thought the yellow was quite pretty with the specks of dark raisins and the green yogurt sauce. The filling is a tad bit sweet, yet smoky from the cumin and floral with that lovely coriander. The filling really gets brightened up from the cilantro yogurt. This stuff tasted so good I wanted to bathe in it! The two go so well together, yet are so different I would never have thought to pair them. These tacos are hearty, which always surprises me from vegetarian dishes. I love it when that happens.

Lentil Tacos with Cilantro Yogurt


Spice Blend
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. smoked paprika

Cilantro Yogurt
1 bunch cilantro (including stems)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt, divided

Olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
toasted spice blend (recipe follows)
1/2 cup water
3 cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peanuts
Salt & pepper to taste
Corn tortillas


1. To toast the spice blend, place all spices in a skillet over medium heat and stir until spices become toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2. To make the cilantro yogurt, blend all ingredients in blender except the yogurt. Add 2 tablespoons of the yogurt and blend again. Remove mixture from blender and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of yogurt in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

3. For the filling, coat a large skillet with olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and toasted spice blend. Cook until onions become clear. Add the water, cooked lentils, raisins, and peanuts. Cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. To serve, heat corn tortillas in skillet, add lentil mixture, and top with cilantro yogurt.

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  • Lesley November 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Ooh, pretty! And don’t you think the peanuts made a great addition? I love how they got just a little soft while cooking.

    • Leah November 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      They really do. I was surprised the raisins were such a good addition as well. Very tasty!

  • Jessica November 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    This sounds amazing Leah! YUM!

    • Leah November 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks! They’re pretty delish, had them for lunch today!

  • Cassie November 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Yum! I loved those tacos at FBF. Actually, everything that he made was top notch! I would like the recipe for the pumpkin soup he made. I can’t wait to try these!

    • Leah November 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Me too! All of Arnold’s food is amazing. So happy we have 4 restaurants in Nashville by him!

  • Annakate November 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

    These look so amazing! And a great way to involve more lentils in my life, which I keep saying I’ll do. 🙂 I’m definitely making these soon.

    • Leah November 4, 2011 at 10:33 am

      This is a great recipe to eat a lot of them! Last night I skipped the taco and scooped the filling in a bowl, topped with a fried egg, and the cilantro yogurt. Very yummy!

  • Annakate November 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    OK, so I made them – so yum! My fiance said the house has never smelled so good. Those toasted spices make all the difference. Question though – when I tried to blend the cilantro creme, it was too small an amount to blend properly in a blender. Do you have a trick, or are our blenders just different?

    • Leah November 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

      Toasting the spices really is key. I never think to do that with already ground spices. I added a bit more lemon juice than the original recipe, and it was too lemony, that’s probably how mine ended up blending more easily. I don’t recommend that though. Maybe increasing the yogurt would help without changing the taste too much.

  • Jen @ Cup a Dee Cakes November 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Lea, these sound SO delicious. I have shied away from lentils (and quinoa, for some reason) but I will make this recipe and break out of my lentil shell!

    • Leah November 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Same here! I don’t think I had quinoa until this year. They’re both so yummy and filling.

  • Jamie June 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Oh boy! These are so going to be made at my pad tomorrow! Can’t wait to blend my three different colored lentils!