Cheap Chow: Lentil, Couscous, Chickpea Tabouli

I’ve got a bit of an addiction to SumoSalad’s Lentil and Couscous deli salad – but I’m not really sure if I can trust every ingredient in it and it’s not cheap. When you’re on a budget like I am, you gotta cut corners and that means bringing in lunch from home. So I worked out how to make it myself – and for my first effort, I got pretty close. My dish doesn’t taste exactly the same, but it tastes bloody good and that’s all that matters. (It’s also not all that attractive, but who cares when it tastes so good?)


Lentil, couscous and chickpea tabouli – perfect for your lunchbox!


  • 1 cup whole green lentils, boiled in salted water for about 45 minutes, or until al dente
  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small, Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • Half a punnet of cherry tomatoes, diced
  • Half a red onion, diced
  • Handful of parsley
  • 2 tablespoons mustard (I used Djion)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of French dressing (the shit you buy at the supermarket)
  • Half a lemon
  • Splash of vinegar (I used Red Wine, but white balsamic, balsamic or even just plain white vinegar will work)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Drain the cooked green lentils and the chickpeas and set aside, preferably over a sink so they can continue to drain
  2. In a bowl, pour one cup of boiling hot water over the cup of dry couscous, cover and leave to absorb (this will only par-cook the couscous, that’s ok, because it’s going to soak up the dressing and fully-cooked couscous covered in dressing quickly looks like babyfood)
  3. In a smaller bowl, muddle the mustard with the French dressing and vinegar
  4. Find a large bowl (trust me, you’ll want a large bowl, this will feed you for a week, easily) and place in the lentils, chickpeas, couscous and veggies (onion, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley) into a bowl and stir it together.
  5. Pour the dressing over the top and then squeeze in the lemon juice and stir to coat
  6. Season with salt and pepper and add more or less of any of the dressing ingredients to suit your tastes

This would be excellent with rocket leaves mixed through it and served with a protein, if you can afford to splurge.