Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lentil Cakes

I went into this intending to make the South Indian Lentil Cakes with Raita out of this month's Bon Appetit.    Then I took out the jalapeños because I can't eat them, then the Raita became tzatziki sauce, then I substituted bulgur wheat for the rice because I had some in the pantry... and it kept going from there.  The flavor profile is about the same, minus spicy.

I did notice the fatal flaw in the recipe from the first reading.  This gluten-free dish did not contain anything to hold the cakes together.  The rice, I guess, but how much can rice do once it has been through the food processor?  I put the cakes in the pan as instructed anyway.  They were pretty.  Then I went to flip them, and ended up with what I'm calling fried salad.  Complete disintegration.  Tasted good, though.  One egg and a little Parmesan cheese, and the rest held together just fine.  That's the version I'm going to publish.

*1/4 C medium grade bulgur
*1/2 C dried lentils
*1/2 C shelled edamame (I used frozen)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
1 medium scallion, chopped
1 egg
2 Tb grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tb chopped fresh mint
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp black pepper
olive oil for frying

1.  Place bulgur in a bowl.  Add 1/4 C water and allow to soak for 1 hour.

2.  Place lentils in a saucepan with water to cover.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes.  You're just par-cooking them.  It's ok if they're still a little crunchy.  Drain.

3.  Place all ingredients except the oil in the food processor.  Pulse until combined, but not puréed.

4.  Heat 1 Tb oil in a medium skillet.  Scoop up 1/4 C of mixture in a measuring cup, then press down lightly to make the cake.  Invert into skillet and start on the next one.  Cook for about 4 minutes, flip with a pancake turner, and cook another 4 minutes.  Remove to paper towel lined plate and re-oil pan for the next batch.

5.  Serve hot with tzatziki sauce

Serves 4 as main dish, 8 to 12 as an appetizer

Difficulty rating  :)

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