Lentil Cakes with Smoky Tomato Sauce
Recipe by Vanessa Opal June, Therapeutic Chef
Serves 2-4 people
Ingredients: Lentil Cakes
●1½ cups dried lentils, rinsed
●4 garlic cloves, minced
●1 medium or large yellow onion, rough chopped
●1 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
●1 jalapeño, seeded, minced
●1 cup spinach, chopped
●½ cup frozen peas, thawed and chopped
●1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
●1/4 cup chopped scallions
●3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
●2 teaspoons kosher salt
●1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
●1 teaspoon curry powder, or ½ tsp curry paste
●2 bay leaves
●2 cups vegetable broth or water
●6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or vegetable oil
●2-3 cups white rice, cooked
●2-3 cups green beans, cooked
Smoky Tomato Sauce
●1½ cups tomato sauce
●2 TBSP olive or vegetable oil
●½ medium onion, chopped
●1 clove garlic, minced
●1 TBSP smoked paprika
●½ teaspoon brown sugar
●Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation: Lentil Cakes
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 TBSP oil over medium-low heat.
- Place onion, pepper, ginger and garlic in pan with a pinch of salt. Stir until fragrant and onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add dried lentils, bay leaves and broth. Bring to a medium boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and very gently simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 22 to 26 minutes. Discard bay leaves and drain, reserving the broth.
- Transfer 1 cup lentil mix into a food processor with curry powder or paste, and process until paste forms (add 1-2 tablespoons lentil broth if necessary). Transfer to a large bowl; mix in remaining lentils, spinach, peas, cilantro, scallions, and mint. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon 4 scant 1/4-cupfuls of batter into skillet, flattening with the back of a measuring cup into 1/4″-thick cakes.
- Reduce heat to medium; sauté until golden brown and cooked through, adding 2 more tablespoons oil when cakes are flipped as needed, about 4-5 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil and batter. Divide smoky tomato sauce among plates; serve with rice and green beans.
- In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Place onion and garlic in pan with brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir until fragrant and onion is lightly caramelized, about 8 mins.
- Add smoked paprika and 2 TBSP of tomato sauce; stir until paprika is fully integrated. Add remaining sauce and bay leaves.
- Cook on low heat until reduced by half and becomes a rich, darker red, about 8-10 minutes. Adjust salt, pepper and sweetness to taste; serve with lentil cakes
●Lentils: Recipe works great with black, brown or
●Fresh Ginger: 1 TBSP ground ginger for fresh, or 1
teaspoon of ginger paste
●Jalapeño: ½ Green bell pepper
●Garlic cloves: 2 teaspoons garlic powder
●Fresh spinach: ½ cup frozen or canned, chopped
●Scallions: Skip if unavailable
●Mint: Skip if unavailable
●Curry: Any flavor you wish, or skip
●Rice: Any grain of your choice (brown rice, basmati,
quinoa, couscous, etc.)
●Keep the lentil broth for a flavorful base for next
2022, Aesthete Kitchen by Vanessa Opal June, Therapeutic Chef