Saturday, 1 March 2014

Red Lentil Koftas

Is there any sweeter sound than a young child asking for more of the dinner you have cooked with your own hand!  When I served these to Sylvia we had a crisis.  She flooded her plate with tomato sauce.  But once it was cleaned up she ate two of the red lentil koftas and then asked for me.  Oh joy!  And they was so delicious they merit asking for seconds.

The koftas are very simple to make.  When I saw them on No Meat and Potatoes I was curious about the idea of soaking the lentils before frying rather than boiling them.  It makes sense because when you cook them they get so soggy.  Having said that, the mixture was very soft.  (Perhaps I didn't drain the lentils enough!)

I also wondered if you could soak the lentils longer.  I think I did 3 hours but would like to soak them even longer.  I read recently about seeds sprouting if you soak them too long.  I wonder if this is the case with red lentils.

Sylvia turns up her nose at most dishes I make these days.  It is wonderful when she embraces my cooking. The koftas are very crispy outside and mealy inside.  She is very fond of Fry's vegetarian patties and vegie sausages.  I wondered if these reminded her of these faux meat products.

 

Not only did she eat her dinner but she amused us with this version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star she learnt at school (not sure if it was in the classroom or the playground).  It was accompanied by her air guitar. 

Twinkle twiinkle little star
Daddy has an electric guidar
You may think he's growing old
But he just loves that rock and roll

It was a fun and delicious dinner.  The koftas were also great the next day on a sandwich or just plain.  Sylvia ate them the second night but by the third night she wasn't so keen.  They would be perfect for a picnic.  I will definitely be making the koftas again. 

I am sending these to Ricki Heller's Wellness Weekends.  You might also have noticed the greens on the plate in the top photo.  These are the Creamy Greens with Asian Seasoning that I made as part of the recipe testing for Ricki's forthcoming cookbook.  It was an amazing side dish.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: WW Watermelon Curry and CC Green Dal
Two years ago: PPN Cheesy Cauliflower and Bean Pasta and happy times
Three years ago: Fast track pizza with sweet potato sauce
Four years ago: PPN: Of birthdays, farewells, and noodles
Five years ago: Hospital food and mum’s cooking
Six years ago: WTSIM...Slow Food, Tambo Salad

Red Lentil Koftas
From Mediterrasian via No Meat and Potatoes
Makes about 25-30 koftas

1 and 1/2 cups dried red lentils
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 and 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato paste
1amd 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used rice bran oil)

Soak the lentils for 2 hours and drain well.  Bung everything in the food processor (including drained lentils) and blitzing to a thick paste, scrapping down a few times.  Heat about half the oil over medium heat and gently drop in handfuls - using damp hands to keep the mixture from caking on your hands.  Fry patties for 4 minutes on each side until deep golden brown and crisp.  Drain on paper towel.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

On the Stereo:
Little Victories: Wild Pumpkins at Midnight

20 comments:

  1. I love Sylvia's song! Very creative and cute :) The kofte look beautifully crispy and interesting that they're made just by soaking the lentils. That's the same method used with chickpeas for traditional falafel.
    P.S. I loved those Asian greens! Definitely a keeper recipe.

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    1. Thanks Emma - didn't think of falafels but I like that these need less soaking - though it does make me want to try falafels the traditional way - and yes asian greens amazing!

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  2. I'd love to give these a try! I made some vegetarian meatballs and they were such a hit and I'm looking for more vegetarian recipes now :)

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - these are so easy I'd definitely recommend them

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  3. Yum, these sound delicious - and an easy week night meal too!

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    1. Thanks Little Vegan Bear - yes great weeknight meal - and leftovers too!

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  4. I'm obviously getting old because I have never heard that version of Twinkle Twinkle! It sounds like she has settled into school beautifully ;)

    I get the same thrill when Mr Bite asks for seconds or raves about a dinner, and with a fussy child, I imagine the joy is much greater. I think we'd both like these koftas and I'm always keen on dishes that use red lentils because I have a tendency to do nothing with them except cook them plain.

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    1. Thanks Kari - it amuses me that Sylvia is learning air guitar at school :-) I never cook red lentils plain - usually use them in soup or dal but I have tried burgers and often they are too wet so I really like this idea

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  5. These sound delicious. I'd love them with some houmous. Its great that Slyvia enjoyed them too

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    1. Thanks Katie - they would be great with hummus - I think we might have even dipped them in some when eating leftovers

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  6. Sounds delicious. I've just had mine soaking since this morning and I'm about to make the mixture. As for the sprouting, this can't happen as the seeds have already been split ie. it might happen for whole lentils (probably not that quickly though) but not red ones.

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    1. Thanks anonymous - good to hear that they wont sprout or go funny if I soak all day - will definitely try that

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  7. I too am delighted that Sylvia enjoyed these Lentil Koftas, Johanna. I always felt like I hit a home run when the kids actually like something healthy I made for them. Sometimes, I would get so excited, they would need to ask me to stop for a while!!!

    Sylvia sure is growing fast. I can't believe she is old enough to put on her own little recital. I bet it was darling:) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Johanna. I am saving it for my grandson when he visits in June. Noah just loves anything fried, lol...I wonder what kind of dipping sauce would be good with this? I think something lemony. I love lentils and lemon:)

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    1. Thanks Louise - I try not to let my excitment show because kids are contrarians :-) Sylvia had plain old tomato sauce (or ketchup) and I think we had a tahini lemon yoghurt sauce but I think my tomato chutney would have been great too.

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  8. Glad your daughter enjoyed these :-)
    I think my hubby would too - he's a big red lentil fan. I'll have to see if they work baked in the oven instead of being fried.

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    1. Thanks Sandy - I think you could bake them but you probably would miss the great crispy skins. Often I like to grill burgers but I fear these are too soft to grill - would love to hear how you go if you do bake them.

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  9. So so glad these turned out well and Sylvia liked them!! I wish my Sylvia would eat them! I usually soak the lentils for 2 hours as they turn out great. The mixture is a bit wet compared with other burger type mixtures but the always hold together well. This is definitely one of my favourite dishes these days :)

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    1. Thanks Kate - I am still to try them again - Sylvia is terrible for liking things one moment and not the next but hopefully she will continue to enjoy them - I think she wasn't so keen when they were a couple of days old. Hope Lexie is still enjoying them :-)

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  10. ooh, interesting. I've seen similar recipes with yellow lentils, but it never occurred to me that you could do it with red lentils (more fool me!) They do look really good - I could go for some of those in a burger bun with some of those greens!

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    1. Thanks Joey - I haven't seen similar recipes with yellow lentils - sounds interesting - in a burger bun with the greens would be excellent

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