Lenten Lentils, Oaxacan-Style

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 25 mins
Cook 50 mins

These unusual, luscious lentils are a traditional Lenten meal of Oaxaca, Mexico. Pineapple, plantain, cloves and allspice give this dish a tropical feel - plus there's plenty of garlic for zip. Garnish with fried plantain slices.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring lentils and water to a boil, with 2 halved garlic cloves and 1/2 white onion.
  2. Reduce heat, then cover and simmer over low heat about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender but not mushy.
  3. Drain and reserve lentil cooking liquid.
  4. At this point, I like to fish out the garlic halves but leave the onion, which breaks down in the lentils.
  5. Season with salt.
  6. Heat oil in large saucepan and saute chopped white onion and the 2 minced garlic cloves until onion is soft.
  7. Add plantain, pineapple and tomatoes; cook until plantain is soft, anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.
  8. Add lentils and some reserved lentil cooking liquid.
  9. Continue cooking until mixture thickens a little; add more cooking liquid or even some vegetable or chicken broth if necessary so lentils aren't dry.
  10. Serve garnished with fried plantain slices.
Most Helpful

This is an a-maz-ing recipe! I did the lazy-man's version and I just threw the chopped onion, minced garlic, small Dupuy lentils, pineapple, plantain, spices, 2 cups of tomato juice, and 1 cup of water in a heavy pot and simmered (covered) for about 45 min.

Geniale Genie May 29, 2011

This is sooooooooooo good! I try to include a fair amount of healthy-yet-tasty meals into my rotation when menu planning, but usually they fall flat. This one was an absolute hit! It's a nice, subtle spicy lentil dish, and the pineapple/plantains add a bit of sweetness to it. Just a teaspoon of salt accentuates the spicy-sweet flavors. I served it on top of portions of steamed white rice, and it was very well received! Thanks for the recipe!

MattMattBoBatt August 26, 2014

Wow. This is so good and different. I really like the complexity of the flavors. Thanks for posting.

Vegwife March 04, 2009