If you want to make falafel from scratch, soak raw chickpeas (or fava beans) overnight, then grind until fine. Same thing here with lentils: soak, grind, mix with spices and onion, deep fry and BOOM you’ll have something magical. Even if it’s a million degrees where you live like it is here in Boston right now, you’ll have something perfect when paired with raw cabbage, herbs, cuke and a cooling sauce.
I found these neon orange lentils at an Armenian market in Watertown … aren’t they pretty?
I first tried air frying these, and it was … a mess. But it’s not necessary to crank up a deep fryer to make these. I use this Lodge cast iron pot with a few inches of oil and it works perfectly with minimal fuss. Once the oil has completely cooled in the pot, pour it into a container through a sieve and store for use a few more times before tossing.
Red Lentil Fritters with Mint-Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Yield 2 large servings
for the mint-garlic yogurt sauce
- 1 cup plain or Greek vegan yogurt (I used Kite Hill)
- juice from half a lemon
- 2 TB chopped fresh mint
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- a few pinches of salt
for a spicy sauce option
- 1/2 cup Sir Kensington's Chipotle Fabanaise
- 2 TB sambal
for the fritters
- 1 cup dried red lentils, picked over and soaked for a few hours to overnight, then rinsed well
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 TB olive oil
- grapeseed, vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- salt, for seasoning once fried
- 1 cup mandolined cabbage
- large tomato, halved and sliced
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup hummus
- chopped olives and/or cornichons
- handful of fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro and/or mint
- microgreens or sprouts
to make either sauce
- Combine ingredients together, chill until ready to serve.
to make the fritters
- Grind the lentils in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and combine with the red onion, spices and olive oil. Chill for at least an hour for best results.
- Heat several inches of oil over medium to medium-high heat to 350 or 375 degrees in a small cast iron pot. The oil is ready (usually after 5 to 7 minutes) when you insert a chopstick into the oil, touching the bottom of the pot. If bubbles form around the chopstick immediately, you are ready to fry.
- Working in small batches of 4-5 fritters, form 1 tablespoon-sized fritters and carefully drop into the oil. Allow to fry a few minutes, or until golden all over. Use a skimmer to transfer the fritters to a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a cooling rack.
- Be sure to hit the piping hot fritters with a few pinches of salt.
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
- Serve immediately with the cool vegetables, hummus, herbs and sauce.
Some gratitude over this past week. ?
1. Visiting friends in New Hampshire right by a lake this past weekend. The water and view was so calming!
2. I started acupuncture. No idea if it will work, but grateful for the ability to try it out.
3. Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, which I’m currently reading. It’s put some of the seemingly negative or useless things that have come up over the past couple of years into perspective and has added in some meaning to the present.