Monday, October 18, 2010

Red lentil and rice croquettes

I recently got my hands on this great new Israeli vegetarian cookbook: Al Haschulchan's Vegetarian Kitchen (it's in Hebrew, sorry readers). A lot of veggie cookbooks are a bit repetitive, offering the same tired pasta and risotto dishes, or relaying too heavily on tofu. This book is great, because it balances recipes that use tofu or meat replacements like TVP and meatless ground beef, with recipes that just use great, tasty vegetarian ingredients to make a delicious and balanced dish.

These croquettes (or patties, or whatever you want to call them) are a perfect example of the latter. The combination of rice and lentils means that they are an entire meal in and of themselves. The original recipe calls for grated carrots and zucchini rather than the yam, but I had neither at home, so yam it was. And two small tips about this one: first, apparently the croquettes can be baked until crispy (in a 200 C/400 F oven) instead of fried; also, these are surprisingly delicious cold out of the fridge, so you can make them for dinner one night, and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day!

Now, on to the recipe (ok, the picture isn't great. I'm still working on figuring out how to photograph food well. But I promise they are delicious, and that I will try to improve):

Red Lentil and Rice Croquettes

Ingredients (for about 20 croquettes):
* 1/2 cup  uncooked white rice (or about 1.5 cups of cooked rice. If you have leftover rice, that's perfect).
* 1/2 cup  uncooked red lentils
* 1 small onion, finely diced
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 smallish yam, grated (or, if you want to follow the original: 1 grated carrot and 1 grated courgette or zucchini, the latter drained).
* I added: a handful each of fresh parsley and fresh mint, very finely chopped. 
* 3 eggs
* 2 tbsp breadcrumbs (I used Aleia's Italian gluten free breadcrumbs, because that's what I had. Obviously regular breadcrumbs will also do just fine if you don't need the recipe to be GF).
*  Salt and pepper to taste (I also added some chili powder)
* 3 tbsp canola, for frying.

1. Cook the rice and the lentils in two separate pots for about 15 minutes. Drain.

2. Fry the onion in the olive oil until it is browned.

3. In a bowl, combine the rice, lentils and fried onion with the yam (or vegetables), eggs, breadcrumbs, herbs and seasoning and mix or knead together.

4. Heat the canola oil in a large non-stick pan, make patties in your preferred size, and fry the patties about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are browned and crispy. When they are ready, place them on a plate lined with kitchen towel. Serve immediately or reheat in a heated oven (or, as I said, eat cold).



  1. Looks like a very doable recipe, thanks !

  2. Mmmmm.
    Now I'm debating whether I want to eat them tonight, or make them for my dinner on friday.