Had they been made with chickpeas or fava beans, or both, and had they been shaped into balls, they’d be called falafel. But I used lentils, Sam didn’t want balls, and asked that I shape the mixture into finger-sized mini-logs instead.
They’re crisp and tasty, and even if you don’t like lentils, you’d enjoy them. Speedy is no lentil fan and has been refusing to eat them. But I had him try what I cooked and he ate what I gave him without complaint because he didn’t know he was eating lentils.
How does one camouflage the taste of lentils? By mashing them and mixing them with other ingredients whose flavors will lessen the earthy taste of the lentils. Like? Like broccoli, parsley and onion, for instance. And the seasonings? Very basic — just, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Note though that for some added oomph, I used Himalayan black salt.
Falafel-style crisp lentils and broccoli fingers
- 1/2 cup cooked lentils (I used canned), whatever color, drained
- 1/3 cup broccoli chopped
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour (all-purpose flour is a passable substitute)
- 1/4 cup panko (I can’t vouch for the results if you substitute some other kind of breadcrumbs)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- a pinch of dried chili flakes
- 1 cup cooking oil
- In a bowl, mash the lentils. How fine or coarse the texture is up to you. If the lentils appear watery after mashing, don’t worry — the moisture will help bind the mixture later.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cooking oil (naturally).
- Form the mixture into fingers no more than an inch thick.
- Heat the cooking oil. Fry the lentil fingers just until golden brown and crisp.
- Serve immediately. Yogurt is a recommended accompaniment.