Updated: Nov 26, 2020
The red lentil is a powerhouse of nutrients including plant-sourced iron and protein, essential vitamin Bs, zinc, phosphorous, manganese, fibre, copper, potassium and more.
When combined with other nutritional vegetables, herbs and spices, the humble red lentil becomes a potent medicine, whichever way you cook it. It is versatile and can be added in soups, broths, stews, salads, and of course my favourite Indian daal!
Links to some resources have been added at the bottom of this blog if you would like to delve deeper into the world of red lentils.
Recently, I came across this really interesting history of lentils, so, I am going to quickly share it with you before we move on to the recipe...
...Thought to have originated in the Near East or Mediterranean area, I believe lentils have been a source of sustenance for our ancestors since prehistoric times. They are the oldest pulse crop known to man and one of the earliest domesticated crops.
It was also mentioned that lentil artefacts have been found on archaeological digs on the banks of the Euphrates River dating back to 8000 B.C. and there is evidence of the Egyptians, Romans, and Hebrews eating this legume.
Lentil artefacts dating back to 8000 B.C.!!!...amazing, isn't it? If you'd like to read more, I have added the link below.
Why should we add red lentils to our diet?
Because they are loaded with goodness. Here's a quick glance:
They are quick to cook and easy to digest
Powerhouse of nutrients
Inexpensive way of getting loads of nutrients
They are rich in polyphenols, these are a category of health-promoting phytochemicals
They contain gut-friendly fibre
They are gluten-free
May also help your heart health - help lower cholesterol, help lower blood pressure and...
...they are soooo tasty!
Now... time to move on to the recipe...
For the kebabs:
Split red lentils - 150 gms
Ground almonds - 2 Tablespoons
Potatoes - 2 small (new potatoes size)
Spinach - about 100 gms
Carrot - 1 medium size
Knob of ginger - about a teaspoon crushed
Hemp protein powder - 1 tablespoon (Optional)
Fresh coriander leaves - finely chopped
Lemon juice - about half a medium-sized lemon
Spices - cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, black pepper
Sea salt to taste
Bicarbonate of soda - 1/4 teaspoon
Oil of your choice for frying
For the dip:
Serves: 4 Preparation Time: 25 mins Cooking Time: 12 mins
Soak lentils in water overnight, so that it's better for digestion.
Drain lentils and pat dry. Blitz them in your food processor. You can grind them coarse if you'd like, it is nice to have some crunchy bits. However, finely ground is recommended for easier digestion. Keep aside.
Grate the potatoes and carrots. Roughly chop the spinach.
In a warm pan, sauté the veggies in little oil or none for about 5 minutes. The idea is to lightly cook the veggies.
Add the potatoes and carrots first, sauté for about 4 mins, then add the spinach, wait for another minute and they are ready.
Next...add the veggies into your ground lentil, add the rest of the ingredients and mix them well. I like to fold them in by hand so that the veggies are intact...
...divide the mix into 8 balls. Make them into whatever shape you'd like. I have done the burger patty shape. You can make them oval, smaller ones too, easier to cook and more portions.
Heat a pan, add some oil and shallow fry on each side for 5-6 minutes. You can deep fry as well. Or roast in the oven.
For the dip, simply get some coconut yoghurt in a bowl, add some cumin powder, give it a good stir and your clean healthy dip is ready. Easy!
Serve hot with some salad, some dip...and munch away!
I call them kebabs but you can call them veggie burgers and eat them with buns drizzled with your favourite sauce...yummm!
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