red lentil (dal) rissoles, patties or croquettes

by Heguiberto on June 4, 2012

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I am a big fan of lentils of all kinds. They’re super versatile, tasty and perfect for a vegetarian diet, as this legume packs a good amount of protein. This recipe, adapted from the book Homestyle Vegetarian published by Bay Books (strangely there’s no author named) is nice because it has an Indian flair, which I like. Any time I cook with red lentil (dal) I get sentimental (it even rhymes!) and enjoy revisiting other dal recipes, like this soup, this pilaf, or this red lentil cabbage soup. I think I’m obsessed.

fried red lentil patty with leafy salad

fried red lentil patty with leafy salad

I made this dish for an early dinner on the day we happened to have a solar eclipse. We are blessed with having our kitchen, dining and living rooms with a Western exposure. So in the afternoon on most days, these rooms are flooded with beautiful sunlight. On that Sunday at a certain point the sunlight dimmed in an odd way. We’d just assumed that the fog was rolling in. But not so: the sky was clear. For five or perhaps ten minutes, it all looked strangely dark and ominous. Could Edward, Bella and the Cullen entourage be joining us for dinner? Would we be the dinner? I heard vampires don’t like garlic so I think we’d probably have been safe.

eerie view of the solar eclipse

eerie view of the solar eclipse: full sun yet it's dark out

The original recipe for this latest dal delight calls for breadcrumbs, which I lacked at the time. It also asks for green peas, another item I didn’t have. So I improvised. This was supposed to be made into patties and fried in oil. I tried that but thought they got too oily. So I prepared a few patties or rissoles and the rest ended up as balls, which I baked in the oven till golden brown.

large plate of baked red lentil croquettes

large plate of baked red lentil croquettes

red lentil (dal) rissoles, patties or croquettes

2 cups red lentil, rinsed
1 large white onion, cubed small
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander
3 carrots, diced small
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh frozen organic lima beans – steamed al dente
3 tbsp canola oil
Olive oil
1 cup oatmeal
~1 cup cream of wheat
Black pepper
Kosher salt
1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Put canola oil in a saucepan, crank temperature up, add cumin and cook until aromatic, about a minute or so. Throw in onions and cook until translucent. Add carrot, garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Then add lentils, salt, pepper, and 3 cups of water. Stir to combine then cover. Bring to a boil then lower temperature to medium and cook, stirring every now and then, to the point lentil dissolves and becomes pulpy, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid towards the end if lentils look ready but still watery this will allow the mix to firm up a bit. Likewise add a bit more of water if not ready. You don’t want it to be soupy.

frying up the red lentil patties

frying up the red lentil patties

Remove from heat and let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. Mix in lima beans, walnuts, nutritional yeast and oatmeal. Adjust flavors if needed. Add just enough cream of wheat to allow the lentil dough to be shaped. Mine needed approximately 2/3 of a cup.

If you are frying add a layer of oil to a frying pan, while oil heats up, shape patties to the size and thickness you like, coat with cream of wheat and fry them for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels to soak up oil excess. I fried 4 of them.

these red lentil croquettes just need a splash of olive oil to be ready for the oven

these red lentil croquettes just need a splash of olive oil to be ready for the oven

With the rest I shaped them into ping-pong size balls, drizzled them with olive oil and baked them in the oven at 450F for about 12 minutes.

Serve with leafy salad.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista June 5, 2012 at 12:12 am

I’m so glad you posted this recipe. 🙂 I love lentils and tried a lentil patty recipe a few weeks back and it was GHASTLY!! I can usually redeem wonky recipes, but not this one. Into the trash it all went. 🙁 Yours look fantastic. 🙂
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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors June 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I love the protein in this. Love red lentils and the use of walnuts and oats is just fabulous. I think you’ve managed to put the most marvelous flavors into this HEGUI! Can’t wait to hear all about your trip 🙂

chow 🙂 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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Barbara June 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Love the walnuts in these AND the lima beans. Very unexpected. I love lentils…have made burgers with them, warm salads and of course soup, but really like the flavors in your patties better than my recipe.
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Angie@Angie's Recipes June 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Fantastic lentil patties! Love the addition of walnuts in those beauties.
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Lili June 6, 2012 at 8:40 am

hmmm these croquettes must be so good and cripy….and I love lentils as well!
beijos ~

Purabi Naha June 6, 2012 at 8:59 am

Stevie, these dal cakes sound so easy with your stepwise instructions and the recipe sounds fantastic! Would love to try this recipe!!

Magic of Spice June 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

With 5 cloves of garlic I am pretty sure you would be safe from any visit by the Cullen entourage…too funny! These are just delightful croquettes/patties…I do adore lentils and love seeing new ways to prepare them 🙂
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