Lentil Patties

I got this recipe from a very dear friend of mine, Anisabel, who is sadly no longer with us. I enjoyed many Saturday lunches in the Van Zyl’s home back when I was barely out of school and I dated her brother. Lentil patties were a staple in this vegetarian household and were always totally delicious.

I had not made them for ages and had to rack my brains for the recipe the other day.

I knew that potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic were involved, with some flour and eggs to bind them.  I also knew for sure you did not soak the lentils like you do beans. After racking my brains some more I just decided to wash them.

Turned out I had forgotten to boil them.

That’s what you have to do – boil the freaking lentils for 45 minutes first.

The patties were unbelievably tasty but the lentils were like little rocks. Upon consulting Mr Google it was discovered that eating uncooked lentils was not recommended. We decided to try microwaving the patties to see if that helped at all. Indeed it did not – just made them worse.

So instead of having lentil patties and potato bake that night we just had potato bake.

The next day I was not taking any chances. I soaked the lentils for a couple of hours (upon the advice of a friend of mine – she said they do this when making biryani).

This is what I did after soaking…

(NB – I’m cooking for 6 people – the quantities below made around 20 patties – so down- or up-scale accordingly.)

Boiled half a packet of lentils for 45 minutes. 

Added the following veggies to the boiled lentils:

2 potatoes – grated
3 small onions – chopped (but you could grate them if you want)
3 smallish carrots – grated
teaspoonful of smooshed garlic (the stuff you buy in a bakkie in the shop)
dash of soy sauce
salt & pepper

Mixed everything up and then added two eggs and enough flour to bind.

(At this point Luan came into the kitchen and looked at the uninviting mixture in horror. “That looks DISGUSTING” he grimaced. Luckily he had tried the failures the night before and knew they did not taste too shabby.)

I then plopped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil and fried the patties until they were nice and brown.

Chris and I scarfed a few down in the kitchen before supper. They were all crunchy and delicious.

But don’t do what I then did…  kept them in a covered up bowl for 20 minutes until I had finished cooking the basil pasta – so they went all gross and soggy (although they still tasted good).

Probably best if you serve them immediately rather cooking.

Incidentally… Gemma thought the lentils were quite tasty too and demolished all the left over bits that Emma had refused because she said the texture was revolting. Happily they are not toxic for dogs. In fact some dog food suppliers use lentils as fillers instead of corn. But they did make her a bit farty though. Jack on the other hand refused to even sniff them.

Lentils are a part of the legume family. These small seed-like vegetables are nutrient dense and inexpensive, making them an ideal superfood. They are a fabulous source of molybdenum and folate. They’re also a great source of dietary fibre, manganese, copper and phosphorus. Not to mention being a good source of iron, protein, vitamin B1, B6, pantothenic acid, potassium and zinc.