Lentil and carrot cakes

The only kind of recipes that are my favourite are the ones allowing for tons of room for customisation. I love how creative you can be with these lentil cakes. They’re bursting with savoury flavours, hearty texture, and oodles of plant based protein. They’re also gluten-free and accidentally vegan.

They work for canapés, burger patties, vegan meatballs or as mains, depending on how large you make them. ⁣

What you will need – (for 12 cakes)
  1. Whole/Split Masoor dal (red lentils) – 1 cup, washed
  2. Carrots – 2 cups, finely chopped
  3. Rolled oats – 1 cup, divided
  4. Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  5. Garlic cloves – 3-4
  6. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  7. Smoked paprika – 1 teaspoon (Can also use cayenne pepper)
  8. Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  9. Salt & pepper to taste
  10. Spinach – 1-1.5 cups, chopped
  11. Olive Oil for brushing
  12. Nuts and seeds of choice – 1/3 cup
    (optional but highly recommended)
    I used a mix of sunflower, hemp, pumpkin and flax
Method –
  1. Rinse lentils thoroughly, till the water runs clear. Add to a pot with 2 cups of water and boil till tender. Do not overcook.
  2. In the meantime, steam carrots for about 15-20 mins. They should be tender but not mushy.
  3. To a food processor, add lentils, steamed carrots, onion, garlic, lemon juice, spices and half cup oats. Reserve the other half for later.
  4. Process in short bursts of a few seconds. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and repeat till all ingredients are well incorporated. The mixture should be chunky not doughy.
  5. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining oats, spinach, nuts and seeds. Mix well.
  6. To make patties, use a large spoon or a 1/4th cup measure to scoop out the mix in the palms of your hand. I made them 1 inch thick and about 3 inches wide. But you can roll them bigger or smaller or even make balls.
    (Use slightly wet hands to prevent the mixture from sticking.)
  7. Lightly brush with oil on both sides and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 25-30 minutes. If your patties are smaller or rolling balls, reduce baking time accordingly.

Serving notes :

These can be served as is with a dip or used as burger patties.
To make the dip, combine 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of tahina, finely chopped coriander leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper with just enough water to achieve a creamy consistency.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Vegan Persian lentil stew

What I love most about Persian cuisine is balance, not just of flavours but also of textures and temperatures. In most dishes you’ll find sweet, salty and sour flavours in perfect harmony. Soft dishes like stews are often paired with crunchy rice, nuts, potatoes or raw vegetables. And each meal is served with an abundance of fresh herbs.

Some of my favourite stews are Khoresh-e Gheymeh, Khoresh-e Bademjoon, khoresh-e fesenjoon and this Khoresh-e Bamiyeh.

As much as I believe that some recipes should be cooked, enjoyed and celebrated just the way they were decades ago, passed down from grandmothers to mothers and to daughters, desperate times call for desperate measures. Here is the vegan adaptation of Khoresh-e Bamiyeh.

What you will need –
  1. Pigeon Pea Lentils – 1 cup (washed till the water runs clear)
  2. Tomato Sauce – 1/2 cup (sub with 4 large fresh tomatoes + 2 tablespoons tomato paste)
  3. Onions – 1 large, chopped
  4. Dried limes (Limoo amani) – 2, crushed (sub with 1.5 tablespoons tamarind paste)
  5. Pomegranate molasses – 1.5 tablespoons (sub with 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar)
  6. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. Coriander powder – 1.5 teaspoon
  8. Ground cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Garlic – 4 large cloves, minced
  10. Bay leaf – 1 large, torn
  11. Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  12. Okra – 250 – 300 gms
  13. Vegetable broth – 3 cups
  14. Salt – a generous pinch

(Substituting dried lime and pomegranate molasses is only recommended in truly desperate times such as this lockdown. Both ingredients are easily available at specialty food stores but are also easy to make at home.)

Method –
  1. Heat a large, heavy bottom pot with a lid, add oil, garlic and onions. Sauté for 7-8 mins, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the diced tomato sauce, bay leaf, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon. Sauté for 5 mins to allow the spices to bloom.
  3. Add washed lentils, broth and dried limes. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover the pot, bring it up to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Let it cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add pomegranate molasses and okra. Cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs – coriander/spring onions/ dill/ parsley.

Serving notes :

Best paired with a fresh cucumber – yogurt – pomegranate salad and rice Tahdig but can also be served with plain basmati rice.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!