Lentils and pasta with tamarind, sumac and pomegranate

Lentils and pasta with tamarind, sumac and pomegranate
  • Serves icon Serves 8-10
  • Time icon Ready in 1 hour

Yotam Ottolenghi’s flavoursome pasta recipe, made with pomegranate molasses, sumac and garlic, was created for the #CookForSyria campaign to raise funds needed to aid children in Syria (and surrounding countries) who have been displaced by war.


  • 40g tamarind, soaked in 200ml boiling water
  • 250g fettuccini, broken up roughly
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced (around 350g)
  • 1 ½ litres chicken stock
  • 350g brown lentils
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30g coriander, roughly chopped
  • 20g parsley, roughly chopped
  • 90g pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges


  1. Mix the tamarind with the water to separate the pips.
  2. Strain the liquid into a small bowl, discarding the pips, and set aside.
  3. Place a large saucepan on a medium-high heat and once hot, add the broken-up fettucini. 
  4. Toast for 1-2 mins until the pasta starts to brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan and return to a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 8 minutes, stirring frequently until golden and soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. Add the chicken stock to the pan and place on a high heat.
  7. Once boiling, add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 mins until soft.
  8. Add the toasted fettucine, tamarind water, 150ml water, pomegranate molasses, 4 teaspoons of salt and lots of pepper.
  9. Continue to cook for 8-9 mins until the pasta is soft and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and set aside for 10 minutes. The liquid will continue to be absorbed, but the lentils and pasta should remain moist.
  10. Place a small saucepan on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. 
  11. Add the garlic and fry for 1-2 mins, until just golden brown. 
  12. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.
  13. Spoon the lentils and pasta into a large, shallow serving bowl. Top with the onions, garlic and coriander, parsley, pomegranate seeds and sumac, and serve with the lemon wedges. 

Recipe from the #CookForSyria cookbook. The not-for-profit book is a collection of 100 recipes and photographs lovingly donated by those who have come together for a common cause.

You can buy the book here.


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