If I could munch on these crispy little protein balls every day of my life, I would. When I make this recipe, I typically divide the batch in two: one half gets extra-spicy chiles mixed in; the other half goes without for the kiddo. You can use red or green lentils—both are delicious, and the only real difference will be the color. Do you want your fritters to be golden red or bright green? Your choice. Serve these hot off the stove, with yogurt or chutney (it’s especially good with Mango Chutney). Eat them as a fun snack or appetizer, or pair them with a full Indian feast.
Recipe from The Plantiful Table: Easy, From-the-Earth Recipes for the Whole Family, copyright © Andrea Duclos, 2015. Photographs by Andrea Duclos. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.
2 cups (400 grams) dried lentils, soaked overnight or for at least 3 hours
4 tablespoons grated or finely minced ginger
1 garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, divided
1 teaspoon curry, paprika, or cumin (optional)
1 spicy chile, such as jalapeno, serrano, or habenero, small diced (optional)
1 small onion, diced
For frying canola or vegetable oil
Drain the lentils from the soak water.
Blend the lentils, ginger, garlic, salt, and a handful of the cilantro in a food processor until mostly smooth.
Mix in the spices and chiles, if using.
In a large bowl, combine the lentil mixture with the diced onion and the remaining cilantro.
Heat about 2 inches (5 cm) of the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
Using your hands, form the mixture into golf ball– size spheres and carefully drop them into the pot of hot oil. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Remove the fritters from the pot and place them on a paper towel to allow the oil to drain off.
Serve immediately, with your favorite dipping sauce.
I like to keep big chunks of onion and cilantro in my fritters for flavor and texture, but feel free to leave those out if you want a lentil snack without the “pesky stuff” that sometimes scares kids.