Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Savory Red Lentil Cakes with Coconut Curry Vegetables

Ok, so I DID promise to post the unusual (perfectly normal IMHO...unusual in theirs) dinner that I prevailed upon my mother and husband to consume Sunday night.  Yes, it was vegan and YES, they are both still alive and kicking despite their assurances that both would suffer food bourne illness and expire prematurely.  People are so afraid of fermented foods for some reason. 

So this dish, which I adapted from a recipe I saw in Vegetarian Times over a year ago, is actually pretty simple but it just requires a little bit of prep time.  There is 24 hours of soaking and then 12 hours of fermenting. 

The originial recipe was a little heavy on the dairy for my taste what with all that ghee and yogurt going on.  Also, their ratio was more rice than lentils in the batter and mine is the opposite.  That was done to increase the protein and fiber.  It doesn't really cut back on the carbs much since lentils are not exactly low carb but oh is still healthy and delicious.

Mine is a vegan version, made with homemade coconut yogurt in the lentil batter but you may purchase coconut milk yogurt or use dairy yogurt if you prefer.  Either way, they are extremely tasty!

Savory Red Lentil Cakes with Coconut Curry Vegetables

  • 1 1/2 cups organic dried red lentils
  • 1/2 cup organic long grain brown rice ( I used basmati)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
  • 1 small shallot, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • coconut oil for pan frying
  1. Combine the lentils and rice in a large glass bowl.  Add water to cover by about 3 inches and soak overnight.  In the morning, rinse and drain mixture.  Transfer half the mixture to the blender; add 1 cup of fresh water and the salt.  Blend until smooth and thick.  Add the remaining soaked lentils and rice a little at a time and continue blending until completely pureed.  The mixture will be thick.
  2. Pour the lentil puree back into the glass bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours or until the batter has begun to form small bubbles on the surface.  *Note:  this isn't the best smelling stuff in the world at this point but it WILL end up tasting wonderful!
  3. When finished with fermentation, stir in yogurt, minced shallot and baking soda.  The batter will be very airy and light despite the heaviness of the lentil puree. 
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet until hot.  Using a soup ladle, add batter to hot skillet.  Do not try to spread the batter; it will make you cakes too thin.  It will spread enough on its own.  Sprinkle the tops of each cake with some of the peas.  Fry until golden brown on the bottom and beginning to dry a bit on the top.  Flip and fry on the second side until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with Coconut Curry Vegetables and a dollop of coconut milk yogurt.

Coconut Curry Vegetables
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup young (thai) coconut meat
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 serrano or habanero (if you dare) chili, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon ground corriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of peeled carrot chunks, about 1" thick
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups mixed cauliflower and brocolli florets
  • 1/4 pound fresh young green beand (haricots verts left from the previous nights dinner shown here)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  1. Puree the cilantro leaves, coconut meat, coconut milk, garlic, chili and spices in the blender.  Use a little extra coconut milk to facilitate blending if mixture is too thick.  Blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and pre cook carrots and sweet potatoes for 2 minutes.  Add cauliflower and broccoli and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Drain well.  Pour vegetables into a 3 quart baking dish; add green beans and peas.  Pour the coconut mixture over the vegetables and toss gently until well coates.  Transfer to the oven and bake at 350 degrees until vegetables are all tender.  This should only take about 14 minutes.    Season with salt to taste and serve with Savory Red Lentil Pancakes.


  1. Oh my heavens...That is one amazing spread! I love absolutely everything here. I especially love that sweet potato is mixed there with the veggies :) Perfect summer meal...

  2. I'm definitely trying these! I love anything lentil...and happily, my 9-month-old son does too!

    I can't believe how many people don't know what a lentil is!

  3. Wow! That looks sooo good! I love So Delicious coconut milk yogurt (I love everything COCONUT!), and I cannot wait to try making this. How do you type a slurpy sound? If I knew how, I'd type it right now!

  4. ooo I am always looking for new foods to try on my 20 mnth old daughter(dairy, egg, nut allergic)...the lentil cakes look simple enough... thanks!

  5. Thanks everyone! Glad you like them.

  6. wow looks amazing like something you would eat in india lol

  7. Hey Jilly! This meal looks wonderful, and I'm not afraid of fermented foods! As long as I'm not eating it at the wrong stage. Even if I did, I think I have a steel stomach that kills most everything microbial (smile).
    The vegetables look particularly yum. I have some leftover coconut milk I need to use, so I'll probably make the veg part of this meal tonight.

  8. These cakes look amazing and I love the coconut flavor for the veggies! Yum!

  9. That does look very yummy. I love the idea of coconut yogurt.

  10. yes friggen please! Yum--some of my favorite foods in this meal!!

  11. I'm not Vegan, but who cares. Everything about this recipe spells d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. Curry? Lentils? I'm in.

  12. Ok I let the mixtrue set of more than 12 hours is that ok or should I start over?

  13. I think mine set out for about 14 Rebecca...not on purpose but I just wasn't home to mix it. twelve hours is just a guideline (within reason of course...LOL) Once the fermentation process has begun, they should be fine. I mean, if you left them out for a week...probably not and they'd probably smell so bad you couldn't eat them but a few extra hours are fine.

  14. I have never seen anything like these lentil pancakes, but I'm imagining how delicious they must taste (especially with that coconut milk yogurt, yum!) I'm glad that your family members survived...I'm sure they found this to be pretty delicious!

  15. What a fantastic and interesting recipe! Thanks for sharing, I'll definitely have to try it out sometime, seeing I have more than my weight in red lentils right now. :)

  16. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! These lentil cakes sound delectable.


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Fort Myers, Florida, United States