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Recipe for
(Lentil stew)

Laganophake (Lentil stew)

from the Heidelberg Papyrus

Yeah, go ahead and click here to buy this book!
Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens.

Yes, this book has a new cover, but I like this one better. Blah, I am so horrible.
AFAIK, this recipe comes from Grant and was inserted by original site author (I will say again to PLEASE buy these author's books! By doing so, you will help support them — even for books that are older and might not sell as well anymore... These authors do not do this for money, they do it for love. Please support them!

From Mark Grant (who rocks): I have used the alternative version, for this recipe, as the "first sentence of the instructions on the papyrus, with its reference to an unidentified lentil cake, is too vague to construct a coherent set of instructions for the modern kitchen. My version ignores the demand to boil the lentils separately as being too pernickety and of no apparent benefit to the final taste.

Original recipe:

Translation: Break a well-baked lentil cake into chicken stock and boil. Or pound dried dill and cumin in wine, water and aniseed, but boil the lentils separately. Chop onions, add cumin, vinegar, olive oil, fresh herbs, and boil. Then combine both of these when boiled well, add good olive oil. and leave to simmer on the stove until thickened.


  • 100g/3 oz Puy lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 125 ml/4fl oz red wine
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried dill tops
  • A sprig of thyme
  • A sprig of oregano
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • A pinch of aniseed
  • Sea salt


  • Thinly slice an onion and fry it gently in olive oil until soft and just turning brown.
  • Add 1 pint of water, the red wine and the lentils.
  • Grind the cumin and aniseed in a bowl and stir these into the liquid together with the dill.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  • Just before serving, stir in finely chopped thyme and oregano after.
  • Garnish with coarsely chopped parsley and serve
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