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These vegan, Lentil Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce are truly delicious! Infused with fragrant Indian spices, they are healthy and full of flavor. Vegan and Gluten Free! Video.
These flavorful vegan, Lentil Meatballs are served over a fragrant Indian-spiced Coconut Curry Sauce. The aroma will drench your kitchen in goodness. The lentil meatballs are baked, rather than fried – so they remain relatively low in fat. Served with basmati rice or a salad, this meal is hearty, healthy and delicious. I also just learned… it also won BEST vegan recipe over at Food 52!
Lentil Meatballs | 60-second Video
Lentil Meatball Ingredients
- Black lentils (uncooked) -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.
- fennel seeds
- Kosher salt
- granulated garlic
- firm tofu
- olive oil
Indian Coconut Curry Sauce:
- fresh turmeric (or ground turmeric )
- olive oil
- fresh tomato
- Fenugreek leaves – truly elevate! Use fresh or dried. Note: Fenugreek seeds are a different flavor.
- 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, form, into ping-pong-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the lentil meatballs in the oven for 20-22 minutes.
While they are in the oven make the coconut curry sauce. I highly recommend making a double batch of the sauce!
Place lentil meatballs over the sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.
What to serve with Lentil Meatballs?
- Basmati rice
- Naan Bread
- Indian Spinach Salad
- Palak Paneer
- Bombay Carrot Salad
- Authentic Chai!
- Chai Cookies!
Enjoy the Lentil Meatballs- let us know what you think in the comments below.
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Lentil Meatballs with Indian Coconut Curry Sauce
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 60
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 15 lentil balls 1x
- Category: Vegan, Main
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup black caviar lentils (uncooked) Sub green or brown lentils, just not “split” lentils
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1/2 cup quinoa ( uncooked)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/3 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 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric )
- 1– 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 extra large tomato, finely diced, with juices
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 14 ounce can coconut milk (not lite)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, more to taste
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
1. On high heat, bring lentils and fennel seeds to a boil in a small pot with 3 cups water. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer 25 minutes. Drain well.
2. On high heat, bring quinoa to a boil in a small pot with 1 cup of 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, and 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 the 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 the texture of coarse sand—place in a large bowl. Add the remaining lentils, salt, granulated garlic, and chopped cilantro to the bowl and mix well.
In the same food processor add the tofu (blotted well, broken apart) and 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.
Double the sauce for extra saucy! Most people are enjoying this doubled. 🙂
- Serving Size: 3 lentil balls
- Calories: 295
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 244.4 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 40.2 g
- Fiber: 6.8 g
- Protein: 18.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan meatballs, lentil meatballs, veggie balls, indian lentil meatballs, the best vegan meatballs, the best lentil balls, vegan meatball recipes, lentil meatball recipes
Looking at the recipe it needs ALOT of ingredients for three people. Am I missing something here or should we be using 1.15 litres of coconut milk etc
Hi Mark, this recipe is for 5-6 people (15 lentil meatballs). I have each serving as 3 meatballs. 🙂
Can you use tinned organic lentils?
That should work!
can meatballs and curry sauce be frozen?
The meatballs may not hold up very well? Of course, feel free to try, but they are quite delicate.
These are phenomenal! I made 1.5x the “meatballs” and 2x the sauce and it was the perfect amount for us. The whole family loved it, and with two young children who can sometimes be a bit picky that is a HUGE win in my book. So delicious, and nourishing. Thank you!
Awesome to hear Sarah!
Served this at a dinner party with a mixed green salad and brown basmati rice and even the non-vegans loved it!
Great to hear Debbie!
Is curry in this recipe?
Hi Mark, the spices combined make the curry (curry is a blend of spices).
Very nice feasty meal!
Glad you enjoyed!
Tasty and filling!
Great to hear tom!
Question: I can’t eat tofu what can I use to replace the tofu as the binder. I had thought about an egg but wondered if too much liquid.
You could do egg and bread crumbs?
This recipe tastes amazing. The instructions are easy to follow and I’m already looking forward to making it again.
Awesome! 👏 🙌
I can’t find fenugreek leaves anywhere. Can I sub with fenugreek powed?
The powder comes from the seed and has a different flavor. You are welcome to try it though- go light. 🙂
Hi, I love your recipes. I am wondering if I can substitute Italian seasoning and use with marinara? I need an Italian meatball, and we don’t like beets in tge other recipe.
Great idea! I think that would work just fine!
This recipe!! The flavors are insane. Real crowd pleaser. As others have said, the sauce is so flavorful you could crave it every day, easily.
That said… The portions are wayyyy off. You’ll have way more balls than sauce. I’d recommend double or even tripling the sauce – regardless of what kind of sauce person you think you are.
The balls sort of sit in there like a soup. You’ll have leftover balls and will want to have sauce to go with the next day and there will be none.
Thanks for the feedback Amber. 😉
This sauce is flavorful and so so delicious. I can’t wait to make it again!
The instructions were perfect and easy to follow. Thank you for a delectable recipe to add to the rotation!
I followed the recommendation of other reviewers and doubled the sauce—yum!
My changes: due to health concerns, I am omitting salt from recipes. To compensate for the missing salt, I double the spices called for in recipes, which generally works well. It worked very well for this recipe.
I used a cookie scoop to make the “meatballs.”
I served this in bowls on a bed of quinoa.
Great and glad you enjoyed this.
Can this recipe be made the day before eating it?
I feel like the balls would hold together better, cooked on the day of. But you could make the sauce and meatball mix ahead?