Disclaimer: This post is sponsored as part of the Lentils.org #GetPrepped #LoveLentils campaign. The opinion and narrative is all mine.
Dinner time driving you crazy and looking for an easy dinner recipe? Cooking a wholesome and delicious meal is easy when you have lentils in your pantry. Double the ingredients in this crispy lentil fritters recipe and your kids can enjoy it for school lunch or even a quick weeknight meal.
I enjoy cooking. I love the act of making nutritious and delicious dishes and then watching my family tuck in. But I’m not one to spend hours in the kitchen, so if I can come up with ways to make my cooking easy, then that’s what I’m going to do. That’s where lentils come in.
I grew up in India where lentils are considered ordinary and mundane. Every day khana (food). At the same time, no meal is complete without the presence of lentils in some form of another.
Different Types of Lentils
Lentils are a part of the legume family and come in all different colours and varieties. Whole lentils come with their skin on and if you look closely, look like seeds. Split lentils are the inside of the whole lentils with the outer seed covering removed. They are slightly lower in fibre and nutritional benefits. But they are also easier to digest and you can cook them down much faster. This variety is my favourite for those crazy weeknight evenings when you’re juggling work, kids’ homework, after school activities and of course dinner.
Lentils make a healthy and satisfying protein and easy weeknight dinner
Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse and a lifesaver in many ways. They last for a long time in the pantry and can soak up big flavours to transform into delicious meals, week after week.
Did you know lentils have almost the same amount of protein as steak?
Not only are they rich in protein, lentils are low in fat, and high in fibre and other vitamins and minerals. Of late I have been trying to boost my kids’ iron intake and I’m glad lentils are the solution. Most lentils contain almost half the daily recommended intake of iron. Yup, Popeye should have been eating lentils!
Recently, Lentils.org offered me an opportunity to participate in the Lentils.org #GetPrepped #LoveLentils campaign. As part of this initiative to increase awareness of how easy it is to make lentils as well as how delicious they are, I am delighted to share one of my family’s favourite recipes.
Easy Dinner Recipe:
Mansoor Dal Kebab
Red Lentil Fritters with Turmeric and Broccoli (Vegan, DF, GF)
Split red lentils or Masoor Dal (dhuli) is one of the more underappreciated lentils in India. People consider it rustic and ordinary but in reality, these lentils have a delicate and sweet flavour. It also breaks down fast during cooking and a simple meal can be ready in way less time than it takes to order takeout. Did I just blow your mind?
Split red lentils also help add texture and flavour to a host of recipes like soups, stews and curries but where red lentils really shine are when they are fried. There, I said it!
Most split lentils have their own delicate flavour that you can enhance with a few herbs and spices. In this recipe, I have simplified the technique and ingredients from a traditional Indian recipe for kababs into a dish that I can turn around easily.
Meal Prep Tips
- Cook the dal on Sunday night when you prep for the week or on the day of the meal. Batch cook and make double the quantity so you can save the remaining dal for another evening. Add to chilli, stews, curries or make it like this with zucchini and tempering and serve with rice. That’s another simple and easy dinner recipe.
- Double the quantity of fritters — freeze what you don’t use. Thaw and bake for 10 minutes in a 300 degree Celcius oven. That’s another dinner rescued.
- This crispy lentil fritter recipe is quite forgiving and can be switched with other split lentils or vegetables. I suggest using a semi-tough vegetable like broccoli, carrots or cauliflower. You will have to adjust the moisture if you’re using vegetables with a higher liquid content.
If you have never cooked lentils, they may seem a little intimidating to use. But in reality, most lentil recipes are forgiving and simple to prepare, and what you end up with is a wholesome and nutritious dish that tastes good and is good for you.
If you’re looking for an easy dinner recipe for one of those crazy weeknights where time is not your friend, give this red lentil recipe a try and let me know what you think of it in the comments below.
Crispy Lentil Fritters with Turmeric and Broccoli
For the Dal
- 1 cup Split Red Lentils
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Chopped shallots or mild red onions
- 1/3 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Salt
For the Fritters | Kabab
- 1 cup Steamed Broccoli
- 2 tbsp Rice Flour
- 1/2 cup Shallots or Mild red Onions
- 1/2 tsp chopped raw Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chopped Ginger
- 2 tbsp Mild tasting oil – I use Grapeseed OIl
- 1/3 tsp Salt as needed
Cook the dal – 15 mins
- Rinse dal a few times.
Pour into a pan along with a 1/2 cup water, 1/3 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt.Boil, covered for 15 mins on medium.Leave covered while you get the other ingredients ready.
Making the Fritters – 10 mins
- Steam a cup broccoli in a bowl in the microwave (just a little bit of water to cover the broccoli and cook for 45 secs).Chop the broccoli and add to the dal mixture.Add the remaining ingredients into the dal mixture and knead a few times till they are well mixed. Heat oil in a pan. Turn the heat to medium.Scoop a tablespoon of batter into the oil and press down to flatten them slightly.Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes.Serve with hummus, yoghurt, salad, rice or between two slices of bread. Yum!
Combining Brussels Sprouts with cooked Lentils is not only a delicious and healthy meal, but it s also very affordable in the winter as brussels sprouts are harvested from September to March.
Totally, right! We love the combination with lentils. And eating in season is a bonus!