These little morsels may be on the diminutive side, but they punch well above their weight in the flavour stakes. If you wanted to make them gluten-free, you could substitute the flour with teff flour or GF self-raising flour – you may need to add a little more to make the required consistency.
Fresh from the garden: lemon, onion, coriander, parsley, garlic, chilli
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on gourmetraveller.com.au
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes
· ½ onion
· 2 garlic cloves
· 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
· 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 200g (1 cup) red lentils
· 2 eggs
· 100g self-raising flour
· 2 lemons
· Rice Bran oil, for shallow-frying
· Small bunch coriander
· Small bunch flat-leaf parsley
· 1 garlic clove
· ¼ long green chilli
· ½ teaspoon ground cumin
· ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 100g Greek yoghurt
What to do:
For the lentil fritters:
- Measure the spices into the frying pan and heat, gently toasting for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then coarsely grind with the mortar and pestle.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and 2 cloves of garlic.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in spices and fry until fragrant for 30 seconds, then add lentils and 650ml water, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
For the green yoghurt:
- Wash the lemon and zest only the thin layer of yellow rind, reserving for the lentil mixture, then juice both halves.
- Wash the herbs and spin dry. Add just the leaves from the parsley and all the coriander to the small mini-chopper.
- Peel the remaining clove of garlic and add to the mini chopper.
- Slice the chilli in half (using gloves if you wish). Remove the seeds, discarding into compost, and slice chilli into small bits, adding to the mini chopper.
- Finally add the spices to the mini chopper, olive oil and lemon juice and process to a fine purée. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste, swirl in yoghurt and divide into serving bowls.
To finish the lentils:
- Separate the eggs, carefully, so that the yolks remain intact and the whites are clean.
- Stir egg yolks into lentils, then stir in flour and lemon rind and season generously to taste. Whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt in a separate clean and dry bowl to firm peaks and fold into lentil mixture.
- Preheat oven to 180C and heat 3cm oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add heaped tablespoonfuls of lentil mixture in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown for about 2-3 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels, then slice in half if needed. Cut remaining lemon into quarters to serve.
- Divide onto serving plates, pop bowls of yoghurt and lemon wedges on and take to the table.
Notes: Why do we need to use gloves when preparing chillies? How can you tell when the oil is hot enough to fry?