Smokey Lentils with Harissa Roast Cauliflower & Aubergine

Although I’m writing this in the sweltering heat of Spain, the mornings are getting cooler and nights darker already in the UK – which seems somehow strange after the long and unusually hot summer we experienced this year.
But I’ve always loved the changing seasons and as my food naturally veers towards comfort food the coming of Autumn means I can legitimately indulge my urge to make huge pots of comforting stews, dahls, curries and soups.

I first created these delicious smoky lentils last week with my friends and fellow bloggers Sara aka Shiso Delicious and Bettina aka Betinas Kitchen while we were away on a little getaway in the Herefordshire countryside. We cooked, styled and had fun sleeping in a yurt.

It was a completely impromptu meal made with the random ingredients we’d brought, but it was so delicious I had to recreate at home and post.

I’ve made a few tweaks; I used split red lentils here as that’s what I usually use at home but for my first version I used whole red lentils which give a coarser texture – absolutely delicious and I recommend using them if you can get hold of them.
And also I added some extra veggies – harrisa roast cauliflower and aubergine. The perfect addition I think.

Really good served with my cabbage salad for texture and crunch!

Enjoy! And I’d love to hear what you think x

I'd love to know if you made this recipe.

Use #RebelRecipes and tag @RebelRecipes



  4 servings
  25 minutes preparation time
  45 minutes cook time


For the roast veg;

  • 1/2 large aubergine sliced
  • 1 medium cauliflower cut into steaks/florets

For the harrisa dressing; 

  • 1.5 tbsp Harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Juice 1 lemon

For the lentils;

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 ancho chilli
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 cups/300g cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 2 cups/350g split or whole red lentils rinsed well
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 cups water – 750ml
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Lots of black pepper
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp coconut yogurt or cream

For the cabbage salad;

  • 1/2 white cabbage
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds


  1. Add the harrisa dressing ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Cut cauliflower up into florets, and aubergine into slices then add them to the bowl with the dressing, mix well.
  3. Add to a large roasting pan. Roast on a medium heat 180c/Gas mark 4 for 20 minutes, then turn. Continue to roast for a further 20 minutes until the veg is cooked and golden brown. Remove from the oven.

To make the chilli paste;

  1. Chop up ancho chilli roughly then add to a small pan with a little water.
  2. Bring to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Add the water and chilli to a mini chopper/blender or pestle and mortar and blitz or crush to a paste.

To make the Lentils;

  1. Add your oil and onion to a wide bottom pan and fry gently on a low heat for around 10 minutes until soft and browning. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the tomatoes, Lentils, tomato purée, ancho paste and water to the pan and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally – add more water if needed.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, chilli flakes, tamari and coconut yogurt to the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes
  4. Top with the harissa cauliflower and aubergine.

To make the cabbage salad;

  1. Finely cut the cabbage and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt – mix well.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds to a pan and dry toast on a medium heat until lightly toasted and nutty.
  3. Mix the seeds into the cabbage.

To serve;

  1. Top the lentils with the roast veg and serve with the cabbage salad.

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  1. Ruth on August 24, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Omg. I am dribbling

    • Niki on August 25, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Hi Ruth
      Oh no/yes!! He he
      Niki x

  2. Katie on September 1, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    What is the harissa dressing, did you leave that out by accident (step 1)?

    • Niki on September 1, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Katie
      Do you mean the ingredients?
      The formatting went a bit strange – should be find now.
      Let me know if not.
      Niki x

      • Linda on September 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm

        Still not able to see the ingredients for the harissa dressing! 🙁

        • Niki on September 10, 2018 at 9:35 am

          Hi Linda
          Sorry you can’t see it, it’s
          1.5 tbsp harrisa paste
          1 tbsp olive oil
          1 tsp garlic powder
          1/2 tsp sea salt
          Juice 1 lemon.
          Hope that helps.

          Niki xx

          • Linda on September 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm

            Thanks Niki I see the dressing recipe I think I meant for the harissa paste. Is it just store bought?

          • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:03 pm

            Hi Linda
            Yes it is xx

  3. Georgia on September 16, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    This was delicious! Even got the meat eaters in the house to have seconds.

    • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Fantastic! So happy

  4. Maggie Green on September 21, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    It’s a fab easy recipe which you can tailor to vegan, meat or veggie. It’s deffo on our menu, regular!

    • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      So happy you like Maggie!

  5. NICCI on September 24, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    what temp do you roast veg on ?

    • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Hi Nicci
      It’s 180c
      Much love
      Niki x

  6. F on September 27, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    Confused. Is the chopped ancho chili added to the onions or cooked separately? Or when it says add everything to the mini blender does that mean add the chili AND the saúted onion and garlic. What does the ancho chili paste consist of?

    • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      I’ve made this a bit clearer now.
      Hope it helps xx

  7. eliza on October 1, 2018 at 7:07 am

    hi, looks great. Would like to give it a try, but can’t find oven temperature….Any suggestion?

    • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Hi Eliza
      It’s 180c
      Much love
      Niki x

  8. Diane on October 3, 2018 at 2:10 am

    “Add everything to a mini chopper/blender or pestle and mortar and blitz or crush to a paste.” What ingredients do you mean by everything?

    • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Diane
      I’ve made this a bit clearer now.
      Hope it helps xx

  9. Judy Schwab on October 4, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Is roasting temperature mentioned, or did I miss it somehow?

    • Niki on October 8, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Judy
      It’s 180c
      Much love
      Niki x

  10. […] See full recipes here […]

  11. Talta on October 9, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Made this tonight. Delicious … but not sure how you get a 10 minute prep time?! Took much longer.

    • Niki on October 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      So glad you like!
      Hmmm, I agree. I’ll amend.
      Niki xx

  12. Eyal on October 28, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Just did my first one… Very nice taste.
    I replaced the ancho with Chipotle (didn’t have ancho) and it got that mild smokey flavor.
    Also, I would recommend pumping up the Harisa marinade so there is enough to cover the veggies. I ran slightly on the shorter side…..

    Prep time was indeed about 10-15 minutes (making the Harisa and cutting the eggplant and colliflower).
    the rest of the prep was done during cooking so I didn’t count it.

    Lentils required about 5-6 cups in total as I had to add during cooking. But maybe I was on higher heat….

    I will definitely make this recipe again several times

    • Niki on December 30, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Thanks so much, great notes.
      Happy you like
      Niki x

  13. blanchandolive - Eating Vegetarian - blanchandolive on October 30, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    […] another amazing source of veggie inspiration, including this winter warming recipe for smokey lentils and harissa roasted cauliflower packed full of flavour from the smokey lentils and a bit of a kick from a homemade chilli paste. […]

  14. Lucy on November 26, 2018 at 10:56 am

    What could I sub for the and go chilli?

    • Niki on December 10, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Lucy
      If you can’t find, sub for chipotle or 1/2 tsp chilli flakes and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  15. Jane Clements on December 9, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Nikki

    I have been trying to source whole red lentils to no avail. Where could I find them?

    • Niki on December 10, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      Hi Jane
      Split red is absolutely perfect as well!
      Niki x

  16. Katie on December 17, 2018 at 10:46 am

    This looks fantastic and perfect for me! Just wondering if the lentils are dried or pre-soaked from a can? I can never get my lentils to cook that quickly! Also how do you think the flavour will change if I use black lentils?

    • Niki on December 30, 2018 at 4:21 am

      Hi Katie
      So happy you like.
      If you use dried red split lentils they are very quick to cook and work well.
      The flavour will be more earthy with black (and longer to cook if dried) but I’m sure it would be delicious!
      My best
      Niki xx

  17. Boudewijn on February 11, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Beautiful recipe! Thank you. I did put some extra vegetables with the lentils because we’re with big eaters (pointed sweet pepper and spinach). Lovely rich taste. It’s a keeper!

    • Niki on February 11, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      Great addition!
      So happy you liked.
      Niki xxx

  18. twist of lemons: March Meal Prep – 3/3/19 on March 4, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    […] cauliflower harissa pasta (recipe adapted from Rebel Recipes) […]

  19. Varunavi on March 13, 2019 at 3:20 am

    I tried this tonight with green lentils since I didn’t have red and I roasted some carrots in addition to the aubergine and cauliflower – turned out to be delicious! Thank you for posting this recipe 🙂

    • Niki on July 28, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Fantastic news! So happy
      Niki xxx

  20. Britt on June 18, 2019 at 1:20 am

    I made this tonight for dinner (and leftovers for lunch tomorrow!) and I added a can of coconut milk to the lentils. So yummy! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Niki on July 28, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Hi Britt
      What a brilliant idea!
      So happy you liked
      Niki xx

  21. KA on September 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    I made this, swapping soy sauce for the tamari, swapping a generous 1/2 tsp of chipotle powder for the ancho (added with other dried spices), and leaving out the coconut yogurt.

    So, so good! Thank you – just an excellent combination of flavors, and so healthy.

    • Niki on September 2, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Love your swaps!
      So happy you liked it.

  22. Loryn on September 15, 2019 at 3:07 am

    So tasty! Ended up using a combo of green + pardina lentils based on what I had on hand along with a variety of cherry tomatoes and smaller aubergine from my garden.

    Also took a chance swapped the black pepper for aleppo pepper since we like a bit more heat. No regrets👌🏻

    • Niki on September 23, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      Wow! That sounds amazing
      Niki xx

  23. Jules on November 23, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Just made this- absolutely delicious! Thanks so much

    • Niki on December 2, 2019 at 10:11 am

      So happy you like Jules!
      Niki xxx

  24. Rosie on December 9, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Have just made this and it looks amazing, thank you!

    • Niki on December 11, 2019 at 9:02 am

      So happy you like!
      Niki xxx

  25. Chris M on January 4, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    Wondering if you used a dried ancho chili …

    • Niki on January 6, 2020 at 8:42 am

      Hi Chris
      Yes I dd
      My best

  26. Mark on January 10, 2020 at 1:10 am

    Thank you for this it was really delicious. I didn’t have Harrisa or cherry tomatoes so made it with leftover marinade from and a tin of chopped tomatoes. I also misread the tamari as tamarind paste which gave it an interesting sweetness. I’ll definitely make it again and try some of your other recipes.

    • Niki on January 12, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Glad you like Mark!
      Niki x

  27. Jess on March 13, 2020 at 2:15 am

    This looks amazing! Is the ancho chili dried or is it a poblano pepper?

    • Niki on March 13, 2020 at 8:09 am

      Hi Jess!
      Yes its dried.

      Niki xxx

  28. Julie on April 2, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    This was delicious! It was such a great combination of flavour and texture. My everything eating husband was mightily impressed. A triumph.

    • Niki on April 5, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Julie
      So happy to hear


  29. Harriet on April 19, 2020 at 10:49 am

    This looks delicious! Is it able to be frozen?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Niki on April 19, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Hi Harriet
      The lentils can definitely be frozen.
      Much love, Niki xxx

  30. […] Source by taikavera […]

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