Tower of Cocoa-Spiced Green Lentils and Rice Medley
with Cinnamon-Glazed Artichokes and Apricots



An alternative way to serve this elegant and unusually flavoured dish is to place the lentils in a large shallow serving dish and arrange the glazed artichokes, apricots and lemon slices on top, with the rice served separately.
Ensure margarine is gluten-free or soya-free if required. here for Vegan Volumes' recipe archive...


80g dried green lentils

15g uncooked wild rice
15g uncooked black rice
120g uncooked long grain rice

2 lemons
70ml water
150g unrefined sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
15g vegan margarine
6 apricots
12 cooked (or canned) artichoke hearts

30ml (2 Tbsp) vegetable oil
200g white onion, finely chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander seed
½ tsp cocoa powder
4g (2 Tbsp) fresh chopped parsley


Pick over the lentils, discarding any stones. Wash the lentils and place in a pan with sufficient cold water to cover. Boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Drain and reserve.

Rinse the black rice and place in a pan with three times the volume of boiling water. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Place the wild and long grain rice in another pan and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cut 6 thick slices (5-10mm) from the lemons, and carefully remove any pips from the slices. Squeeze the juice from the remainder of the lemons and put 30 ml of juice with the water in a small, flat bottomed pan. Add the sugar to the pan with ½ tsp of the cinnamon and heat to dissolve, forming a light cinnamon syrup.
Place the vegan margarine in a heavy bottomed pan and add the 6 lemon slices. Gently caramelise over a very low heat, until sweet and soft (10-15minutes). Place the caramelised lemon slices in the pan with the cinnamon syrup and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the slices from the pan and allow to drain.
Wash and halve the apricots & remove the stones. Place the apricot halves in the syrup and continue to heat for 1-2 minutes, until slightly soft, but still holding their shape. (The apricots can very quickly overcook in the glaze, becoming soft and losing their shape, so watch them constantly.) Remove the apricots and allow to drain.
Remove some of the syrup from the pan, leaving only about 5mm depth in the bottom of the pan. Place the artichoke hearts upside down in the pan, so just the tips of the leaves are in the glaze. Place the lid on the pan and gently heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove and drain the artichoke hearts.

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Fry for 4-5 minutes until soft and coloured. Add ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, and all of the ground coriander and cocoa powder. Stir in well. Add the cooked lentils and cook for another minute. Take off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.

To serve, mix the black rice with the wild and long grain rices. Divide the rice mixture between 6 lightly oiled rings, pressing the rice down firmly. Place one sixth of the lentil mix on the top of the rice in each ring, pressing down lightly. Place two artichoke hearts, two apricot halves and one lemon slice on each plate. Decorate the plate with a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon.

Serves 6

Recipe by Helen Edwards

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