The Red Folder

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Spiced Lentil Cakes – seriously delicious even if you hate lentils.

Good hot, cold in a wrap or bun with a salad, or on rice.  I ate these with shredded cabbage, a light tahini dressing, a squeeze of lemon and some coriander yesterday. Yummy.

Spiced Lentil Cakes

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You will need

  • 450g dried lentils
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 medium, onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 120g of unsalted butter
  • 1 large pepper – green or red
  • 1tsp cayenne
  • ½tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • a good handful of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 4 tsp tomato puree
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten with scant cold water
  • 10g fine  breadcrumbs – fresh or dried
  • oil for shallow-frying

Put the dried lentils into a large saucepan and cover with 1.2ltrs cold water.  Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until they are soft and starting to split. Keep checking, the water should be absorbed, do not allow to dry out.  Saute the onion, carrots, and garlic in all the butter until they are translucent.  Add the pepper. and cook for a further 5-10mins.  I like a little crunch but up to you.

Drain the lentils and then crush with a fork, or potato masher, they should be quite dry and lumpy.  Add the cooked vegetables, herbs and spices, tomato puree and season.  When cool enough to handle roll into 24 golf sized balls with damp hands, dip into the egg mix and then the breadcrumbs.  Fill your pan with enough oil to half submerge a cake and fry them in batches of 6.  They cook quickly and you only need about a minute on each side.  Allow to drain on kitchen paper.

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TIP  I was once tempted to grate the veggies to save time, but the mixture became too soft, you really do need cubes.  The spice level can be adjusted.  The above would be medium.  If you do not like or can not tolerate spice, use cumin instead and dress with a cucumber yogurt.

Is anybody out there listening to me??

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