Masala Lentil Salad with Cumin Roasted Carrots

Intrigued? I also was. This delicious concoction of ingredients is not mine. The new vegan cookbook Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals by Gena Hamshaw contains this masala lentil salad.

Maybe you’ve already discovered Gena’s site, The Full Helping, and grown to love the nourishing vegan dishes and her pleasant writing style. You have been lacking out if not.

With a vinaigrette flavored with garam masala, this salad mixes delicate roasted carrots, protein-rich lentils, fresh greens, and mint. The color and flavor of raw red onion contrast brilliantly, and sunflower or pumpkin seeds add some much-appreciated crunch.

I enjoy sharing recipes from fresh cookbooks because it gives me the opportunity to offer concepts I never would have thought of on my own. It tastes extremely good, even though I never would have thought to put garam masala in a salad dressing. Thanks Gena, noted!

The only thing I changed was to substitute spring greens for the arugula because the shop was out. That’s the worst, right? Gena suggested a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, which I chose not to do, but I can see how a sweet-and-sour finish would enhance the flavor of this salad.

While you may want to refrigerate the vinaigrette separately to prevent the greens from wilting, this salad is robust enough to serve for supper and keeps nicely for a few days.

Like all of the recipes in the book, this one is vegan. Power Plates has a ton of fantastic recipes if you’re seeking for healthful, one-dish vegan or dairy-free meals! Make sure to hunt for it in bookstores, then review the salad in the comments section.

Also read:  Peanut Slaw with Soba Noodles



  • 1 ½ pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried beluga or French green lentils, or 2 cans (15 ounces each) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups firmly packed baby arugula, mizuna, or baby kale
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint leaves

Masala Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced or finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (scale back if you don’t completely love garam masala)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pomegranate molasses (optional; I didn’t use any)
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts 


  1. To make the salad, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the carrots in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and maple syrup, sprinkle with the cumin, and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to the lined baking sheet, spreading them in a single layer. Season generously with coarse salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the carrots are fork-tender and browning.
  2. Meanwhile, put the lentils in a pot and add water to cover by 3 to 4 inches. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, then let drain completely. (If you’re using canned lentils, you can skip this step.)
  3. Put the carrots and lentils in a large bowl and let them cool for 10 minutes. Add the onion, arugula, and mint.
  4. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until evenly combined.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until evenly combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, if using, and offer toasted seeds on the side.


Reprinted with permission from Power Plates, copyright © 2018 by Gena Hamshaw. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.