Spiced Lentil Balls

lentil ballsThis indian inspired version of a meat-less-ball, is fantastic. I love lentils, they are actually number 2 on my list of favourite ingredients (number one is of course, chocolate!). The coconut and ginger together with the green chilies and spices, make this dish so fragrant and tasty. Serve these lentil balls, in pita bread with yogurt, fresh coriander and a generous squeeze of lemon. Like falafel, but not quite.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup brown lentils
  • 2 Tbs dessicated coconut
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 green chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 thumb piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tbs fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 400 grams greek strained yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Sunflower oil for shallow frying

Method

Cook the lentils in plenty of salted water until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

In the meantime mix the yogurt with 2 tablespoons fresh coriander. Put in a bowl and put in the fridge until serving time.

Put lentils in a bowl of a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Put in a bowl and mix with the coconut, breadcrumbs, chilies, ginger, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and the remaining 4 tablespoons fresh coriander. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Taste mixture and adjust seasoning. Add the egg and mix again.

Put about 2 cm oil in a frying pan, over medium-high heat. Wet your hands and make small balls with the lentil mixture. Fry lentil balls until crunchy and brown in colour. Serve at once with the yogurt.

Note: These lentil balls are best eaten right after you fry them. But you can prepare the mixture well in advance and keep it covered in the fridge.

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