Vegan Lentil Meatballs | 45-second video
What lentils to use?
I adore these little Black Caviar lentils because of their petite size, their dark color and rich earthy flavor. They are meaty little guys, who hold their shape after cooking, and take only 20 -25 minutes to cook. But feel free to use brown lentils or green lentils. Any whole lentils will work great here- just do not use split lentils.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Black lentils (uncooked) -Sub green or brown lentils, just not “split” lentils
- fennel seeds
- kosher salt
- granulated garlic
- firm tofu
- olive oil
Coconut Curry Fenugreek Sauce:
- fresh turmeric (or ground turmeric )
- olive oil
- fresh tomato
- dried fenugreek leaves
- coconut milk (not lite)
- lime juice
- salt, pepper seasonings
TIP: Dried fenugreek leaves truly elevate this dish! We use them often here on the blog- so they won’t go to waste!
How to make Lentil Meatballs
- Cooked Lentils and cooked quinoa are mixed with cilantro, garlic and spices.
- Tofu is whipped in a food processor into a thick paste, and acts as the binder here. fold this into the lentil quinoa mixture.
- With wet hands, roll into ping-pong-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the lentil meatballs for 20 minutes. While they are in the oven make the coconut curry sauce.
Place lentil meatballs over the sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.
What to serve with Indian Lentil Meatballs?
- Basmati rice
- Naan Bread
- Indian Spinach Salad
- Palak Paneer
- Bombay Carrot Salad
- Authentic Chai!
- Chai Cookies!
Enjoy the Vegan Lentil Meatballs- let us know what you think in the comments below.Print
Vegan Lentil Meatballs:
- 1 cup black caviar lentils (uncooked) Sub green or brown lentils, just not “split” lentils
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- ½ cup quinoa ( uncooked)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- ⅓ Cup chopped cilantro
- 6 oz firm tofu, pressed down ( to release water) and patted dry – this acts as the binder ( do not use silken tofu)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Coconut Curry Fenugreek Sauce: ( if you like extra saucy, double the recipe)
- 4 cloves garlic- minced
- 1 T fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp fresh turmeric, grated (or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric )
- 1– 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 extra large tomato, finely diced, with juices
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 13.5 oz coconut milk (not lite)
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt, more to taste
- ¼ tsp cayenne, more to taste
- fresh cracked pepper
2. On high heat, bring quinoa to boil in a small pot with 1 cup water. Cover, turn heat to low, simmer 15 minutes, turn heat off, leave covered.
3. Make the sauce. In a skillet or saute pan, over medium heat, saute garlic and ginger in olive oil, until just golden, stirring often to prevent scorching. Add turmeric ( root, or ground) sauté 1 more minute. Add diced tomato, sauté until most of the juices evaporate about 5-8 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, fenugreek leaves, lime, brown sugar, salt, cayenne and pepper. Taste for salt. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat until ready to serve.
4.Make the vegan lentil meatballs. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a food processor, place the cooked quinoa, and half of the lentils, and pulse until texture of coarse sand. Place in a large bowl. Add the remaining lentils, salt, granulated garlic, chopped cilantro to the bowl and mix well.
In the same food processor add the tofu (blotted well, borken apart) and 1 T olive oil. (The tofu will bind the mixture and oil will keep them from drying out.) Pulse tofu and oil until a smooth paste, scraping down the sides as necessary. Scoop it into the lentil mixture and mix it in well.
Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. With your hands, kneed lentil mixture briefly so it’s thoroughly mixed and salt and spices are evenly distributed. With wet hands form small ping pong sized balls. Place on baking sheet and place in the 400 F oven for 20-25 minutes.
5.Warm the sauce and place lentil meatballs in the sauce, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.
Makes 14-16 meatballs.
Double the sauce for extra saucy!
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