Wholesome Cook

Pumpkin, lentil and cous cous salad with dukkah

Thank goodness for Neil Perry!

I’m not sure if air travel would be half as pleasant without his involvement with Qantas, but considering I’m always looking forward to late afternoon flights because of their lounge food selection, I think he has managed to make plane food actually quite exciting. In fact, I have been so impressed with one of the Qantas Club salads I had the other week, that I have decided to recreate something similar at home.

I could not recall exactly what was in the salad because I wolfed it down after a full day of moving house, but my own version had the basics and turned out equally as delicious and quite easy to make. Spiced with dukkah, the flavours work well and the textures of cous cous, big chunks of roasted pumpkin, canned lentils and finley chopped coriander completed the mix.

We served it as a side at a barbecue but I quite happily had the leftovers for breakfast the next day. It would have been a perfect lunchbox salad as well, and quite a nutritious one too.

Serves 4

Roasted pumpkin, cous cous and lentil salad

Dukkah in this recipe can be substituted by Zaatar or any other fragrant and mild Middle Eastern spice mix, while quinoa could be used instead of cous cous.

{Printable recipe}

For the salad:

  • 300g Japanese pumpkin, peeled
  • 2 tbsp peanut // or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cous cous
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 (220g) can black lentils
  • 3 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon dukkah

To serve:

  • 1/2 cup natural // or Greek yoghurt
  • 10 mint leaves, shredded

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced, 400C, gas mark 6).

To prepare the pumpkin: cut pumpkin into 1in chunks, drizzle with a little oil and place in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the cous cous.

To perapre the cous cous: place cous cous in a medium bowl, and add stock. Cover with cling film and set aside for 20 minutes of so. When ready, take the cling film off and fluff up the grains with a fork.

To make the salad: drain lentils. In a large bowl mix cous cous with dukkah, chopped coriander and lentils. Add pumpkin and fold gently to combine.

To make the minted yoghurt: mix together yoghurt and shredded mint leaves.

To serve: serve warm or cold with a side of a minted yoghurt sauce.


Ben January 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I’ve had this salad at the Qantas Club actually and it was as amazing as you say. Thanks for the recipe!

Anne S January 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

YUM! What a great combo – love it.

Miss Piggy January 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Another great recipe. Have printed this one to try out at home.

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm

That looks wonderful and for some reason makes me want this and tabouleh!

rsmacaalay January 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I never tried this type of salad before but like you I also try to imitate dishes I eat in airlines. BTW that salad looks good.

Laura (starloz) January 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm

this salad sounds incredible. i’ll be making it asap

katinka January 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

mmmm this looks amazing – what a beautiful dish!

Sherilyn @ Wholepromise January 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm

This looks beautiful and easy. A great dish for dinner or a quick lunch I think.. Hope you are well.

heather January 10, 2012 at 1:46 am

Love dukkah, though haven’t had the chance to utilize it as we’ve been packed up in boxes for months. Finally in our new home and unpacked, I’ll have to bring it to the forefront and try this salad — sounds perfect.

Thanks and cheers,


sportsglutton January 10, 2012 at 9:05 am

Looks absolutely wonderful. I’m always a huge fan of couscous.

Timothy R January 10, 2012 at 9:08 am

Fabulous looking slad and mouthwatering shots!

delicieux January 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Wow, it’s not often you hear that a salad from the Qantas club has inspired someone to cook the same dish at home! But it does indeed look fantastic!

Yasmeen @ wandering spice January 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm

What a fresh start to the year, Martyna! We’re huge lentil lovers here, so this is right up our alley.

sara (Belly Rumbles) January 12, 2012 at 1:16 am

Have I missed something on my visits to the QANTAS Club? I am never impressed with the food (unless you are talking about the 1st Class international lounge?).

I think I have seen a salad that distantly resembles yours, but have avoided it.

Yours I would eat in a heart beat! I am also inspired to make it :) Awesome salad Martyna!

Flick January 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Can brown lentils be substituted for the black and how would you cook them? I have some in the cupboard.

Wholesome Cook January 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Hi Flick, you can use black lentils too. For 1 cup of finished product (about 1 can as per recipe) rinse 1/2 cup black lentils under some cold running water. Place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until they are just about cooked through but still “to the tooth”. Rinse in a sieve under cold running water and allow to cool before making the salad. I hope that helps :-)

Flick January 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Fantastic thank you, I’ll give it a try, much appreciated.

Judy @ Seven Second Rhapsody February 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I always wondered what to do with a jar of zaatar I had lying about, but I think I’ve hit the jackpot! Great dish and sounds like it’s got a lot of warmth and flavour.

Denny March 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm

WOW – I tried this – it was easy to make and delicious. Thank you!!

Wholesome Cook March 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Glad to hear you enjoyed it, thanks for sharing! It’s one of my favourites!

Spicing Things Up With Dukkah | October 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm

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