Harissa Shrimp with Black Lentils



Serving size

4 ounces shrimp with lentils and sauce
30 minutes
Marinate at least 30 minutes

This recipe can easily be multiplied and will keep well, refrigerated, about 48 hours.

Harissa Shrimp with Black Lentils


1 Large Shallots, raw (finely minced)
2 Tbsp. Harissa Sauce
1/4 tsp. Salt (divided)
2 quart Water
1/2 cup Black Lentils (Urad Dal)
8 Ounces Shrimp, raw (peeled and deveined)
1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 cup chopped Fresh parsley (coarsely chopped) (divided)
1 tsp. Dried mint (or 1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves) (minced)
6 tsp. Olive oil (divided)
3 medium (4-1/8 inch long) Green onions (sliced crosswise; keep green and white parts separate)


Place the shrimp, the shallots, the harissa, and 1/8 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Mix together and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (This can be done the night before.)

Place the yogurt, 1/2 cup parsley, and mint in a small bowl and fold together. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill.

Place the water in a medium saucepan over high heat.

Bring to a boil and add the lentils. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the lentils, covered, for 20 minutes.

Remove the lentils from the heat, drain, and set aside.

When ready to cook, place 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the white part of the green onions and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the cooked lentils, the remaining 1/8 tsp. salt, the rest of the parsley, the green part of the green onions, fresh ground black pepper to taste, and 2 teaspoons olive oil, then stir. Cook until the lentils are heated through.

Reduce heat to warm.

In a separate large skillet, place 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and marinade and cook for 6 minutes, then turn the shrimp over and cook for another 4 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked through.

Serve the shrimp over the lentils and top with the yogurt sauce.

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GERD / Acid Reflux

This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.


This recipe is NOT safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Coumadin® (Warfarin)

This recipe is NOT safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Gluten Sensitivity

This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten. Make sure the harissa and yogurt are both gluten-free.


This is a low sodium recipe.

Recipe Notes

We have a saying in our Culinary Medicine programming: “We love legumes.” I especially love lentils. The flavor is great and black lentils are especially tasty. They bring a lot to a dish, including great quality fiber, carbohydrates, and protein.

That great flavor and texture is somewhat neutral and makes a great vehicle or complement to other ingredients, and that is especially true with this Harissa Shrimp. The shrimp part of this recipe is great on its own and can be served over rice or quinoa, for example, but the color and texture of the black lentils makes this a beautiful dish.

Harissa can be spicy or mild depending on the one that you purchase, so you will need to make adjustments accordingly. The yogurt sauce will help cool off that spice and round out the dish.

"Parsley goes really nicely with everything. It adds a nice lightness; it wakes up a dish."

Antoni Porowski