01 March 2009

Experimentation pays off.

Tonight I attempted something entirely new, with decent success, if I do say so. I made red lentil & rice cakes, with a curried salsa topping. I was pretty pleased with it, and my hubby proclaimed it one of my better inventions, so I'm posting the recipe.

The base recipe I adapted this from - combined from a couple of random blogs - was for 6 people, so there are some really small quantities in here because I pared it down for 2. Trust me, it made ample for two people. The sauce could involve infinite variations; have fun. It sounds complicated, but it's really not that hard.

The recipe as it stands is non-dairy and low-fat.

Ann's Red Lentils & Rice Cakes

1 1/2 c water
1/3 c red lentils
1/4 c jasmati rice
1 bay leaf
pinch of saffron
~1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I used a combination of red & madras curry, not all at once)
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 slice of bread, shredded into crumbs & dried out/toasted

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 bell pepper, red, orange, or yellow; diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, minced
1-2 tsp honey
2-3 cloves minced garlic
black pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger, or 1 tsp fresh
~1/4 tsp vindaloo powder
~1/4 tsp tumeric
~1/8 fennel seed
small pinch of fenugreek seed

Put the water, lentils, 1 tsp curry powder and the bay leaf in a saucepan to boil over high heat with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat as soon as it starts boiling, and after two minutes add the rice, then set the timer to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the saffron in about 2 teaspoons of water for 10 minutes, then add to the lentils/rice mixture. Toast the breadcrumbs. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl.

Prep the tomato, red onion & bell pepper for the sauce. Stir up about a teaspoon of olive oil and all the tomato, onion, honey, ginger, salt, and black pepper, and let it sit while you make the rest of the dinner.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the rest of the olive oil, then add the fennel and fenugreek seed, the minced garlic, bell pepper, rest of the curry powder, vindaloo powder, and tumeric, stirring frequently. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Once the timer's gone off for the lentils & rice, if it's still pretty wet, let it cook down a little. Once it's sufficiently dry - which is still pretty wet, but thick - add to a food processor with the bell pepper sauce, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Pulse for about 30 seconds, stir down, pulse again.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the lentil mixture in about quarter-cup scoops and spread out into a cake about 1/4 inch thick. Cook about 5-ish minutes per side, until golden brown on each. Serve topped with the tomato-red onion mixture. Makes 4 cakes per person.

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