Lentil Cakes with Tomato Sauce

This is a variation on a favorite recipe of mine but I haven’t tested the tweaks yet.  Recipe is sure to change once I do.

For the Lentil Cakes

1 cup dried Lentil du Puy, rinsed and picked over for stones
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how much kick you want these guys to have)
1/4 cup rolled oats (or ¼ cup almonds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Sauce
Small knob of coconut oil or drizzle of olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 cup chopped tomatoes
pinch cinnamon
pinch tumeric
1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put rolled oats and almonds (if using) into a food processor and blend until the mix forms a coarse flour. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  3. Place the lentils into pot and cover with water by two or more inches. Add the minced onion. Place the pot over medium heat. Slowly bring the lentils to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the lentils until tender adding a pinch or two of salt in the last 10 minutes of cooking. This should take approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Drain the lentils and onion. Let them cool but puree them in a food processor while they are still warm. They will be easier to handle when warm.
  5. Add the remaining lentil cake ingredients except oat flour and cayenne pepper.  Pulse the cakes a few more times until the rest of the ingredients are combined into the mix. Taste the lentil puree then season the puree with cayenne pepper, kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Taste again and adjust the seasoning/ add cayenne pepper to taste.
  6. If batter is pretty wet, add oat flour a table spoon at a time to stiffen up the mixture.  Let the cakes sit for a few minutes to hydrate the flour each time. If mixture is too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time.  You want the mix to hold its shape but not be overly stiff otherwise they can be dry when cooked. It should just hold its shape.
  7. Divide the lentils into eight balls.
  8. Take each lentil ball and smash it down gently forming it into 3/4 inch thick cakes and bake for 15-20 minutes.

For Sauce:
Warm the coconut oil or olive oil in a sauté pan then add the remaining diced onion. Saute until tender then add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Stir to combine, bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for ten minutes to come together. You can puree the sauce to make it smooth or leave the onion chunky making the sauce rustic.

Serve with grain of your choice (quinoa, farro, brown rice. Go crazy).

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