Spicy Lentil Balls with Poppy Seeds. (Vegan and accidentally gluten free!)
Recently I’ve been browsing a lot of Japanese vegan websites, especially “bento box” sites. Lunch I find the most boring meal of the day, so I’ve found plenty of colourful and healthy new things to try! Including… these lentil balls.
I just had mine on a salad to make it more hearty, but they’re a little like felafels, so I’ll definitely try them next with a wholewheat pitta, shovel loads of hummus and salad. :D
This recipe makes 15 balls at around 40 calories a piece.
- 1 cup split red lentils;
- 1/4 cup cooked brown rice (or bulgur wheat if you’re not gf);
- 1/2 an onion, diced;
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed;
- 3/4 tsp cumin;
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander;
- 1/2 tsp garam masala;
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or a mix of cayenne and paprika;
- 1/4 cup flour (I used wholewheat);
- Handful of poppy seeds and ground almonds;
- A good drizzle of olive oil.
1. In a large pan, cover the lentils in boiling water and a little salt, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft and mushy. Meanwhile, fry the onion, garlic and spices in the olive oil until translucent and sufficiently coated. Add the rice to the pan and toss for a further few minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Drain the lentils and then mix together with the onion/spice mix and the flour. Wait until cool before handling - I placed the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes. This is just to ensure you don’t burn yourself!
3. Using an ice cream scoop, make 15 balls, rolling each one around in a plate of ground almonds and poppy seeds, then place on the tray. Alternatively you could use sesame seeds, or just flour! The same goes with the spices, use whatever you think will work.
4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for a further 10 until crispy on the outside. Serve warm, or allow to cool and keep in the fridge for a few days and re-heat as required.
These are particularly delicious with sweet chilli sauce - so if you have some, definitely use it!