This Baked Curry Lentil Cakes recipe makes for a satisfying, but light vegan meal. The roasted red pepper sauce is so good it could be eaten with a spoon! Thank you to USA Pulses and Pulse Canada for helping me to share this recipe with you.
One hundred points if you can tell me what pulses are! When I first heard that the United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, I did a double-take. Pulses? It turns out that they are a category of legumes that includes dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas. In other words, things I like to eat any way I can get them – in salads, in soups, as appetizers, in chili.
That wasn’t always the case. In fact, I’d have to say that until my early twenties, I turned my nose up at almost anything to do with the pulse family, unless it was pureed into a big bowl of hummus and accompanied by some chips and a beer (once I hit the legal age, of course). I’ve always had nothing but love for hummus!
I don’t know if it was the Hearty Lentil & Black Bean Soup or the Crockpot Ginger Chickpeas & Spicy Tomato Stew that did the trick, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with all-things-pulses. Of course, I didn’t know that’s what they were called. Instead, I would declare, “I love all beanspeaslentilschickpeas.” Calling them pulses is so much easier.
As part of the 2016 International Year of the Pulse, Pulse USA and Pulse Canada are encouraging everyone to take the Pulse Pledge (I’ve already pledged myself), which is a pledge to eat pulses at least once per week. With all of the known health benefits of these superfoods, it’s kind of a no-brainer!
For this recipe, I used red lentils, which are the fastest cooking of the lentils. They are just little guys and don’t require soaking beforehand. However, I do recommend rinsing the lentils and checking them for any debris, such as small stones. While red lentils are often used for dals (or dhals), an Indian food staple, I chose to incorporate them into some protein-packed lentil cakes, which are kept even healthier by baking rather than pan-frying. But I couldn’t resist adding some curry powder. Red lentils just seem to beg for it!
The lentil cakes are topped with an easy roasted red pepper sauce, whipped up in the food processor or blender in just a few minutes. You could certainly use jarred roasted peppers, but it’s really easy to make your own roasted peppers…cheaper, too! The sauce is so good that you’ll be tempted to spread it on sandwiches and even toss it with pasta.
Serve these up with a green salad for a light lunch or dinner. And then, start brainstorming the next meal you’ll make with pulses!
Other healthy recipe with pulses:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry with Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas
Cookin’ Canuck’s Barley Stew with Caramelized Onions, White Beans & Spinach
Natural Girl Modern World’s Beet & Lentil Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese
Happy & Harried’s Green Gram Curry
The Al’s Kitchen’s Savory Chickpea Pancakes
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 ½ cups water
- 5 garlic cloves, divided
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1½ tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ½ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 3 tbsp cilantro
- 2 large roasted red peppers (4 halves), roughly chopped (see How to: Roast a Bell Pepper)
- ¾ tsp olive oil
- ¼ yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp vegetable broth
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp curry powder
- Dash of salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse the red lentils and pick out any debris.
- Place the lentils and 2 whole, peeled garlic cloves in a medium saucepan and stir in the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and discard the garlic cloves.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Transfer 1 ¾ cups of the lentils to the bowl of a food processor. Use the remaining lentils for another purpose.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Chop the remaining 3 garlic cloves and add to the skillet, along with the curry powder and paprika. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Transfer the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the brown rice, salt and pepper.
- Pulse until the mixture is combined, but not pureed.
- Transfer the lentil mixture to a bowl, and stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon juice and cilantro.
- Using about ¼ cup per patty, form the lentil mixture into ½-inch thick round patties.
- Place a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove, coat with cooking spray and transfer the lentil patties to the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the lentil cakes are browning on the bottom. Flip and cook for additional 5 minutes.
- Serve the lentil cakes with the sauce, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
- Place the roasted red peppers in the bowl of a food processor.
- Heat the olive oil in a small nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, paprika and curry powder, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Transfer the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the vegetable broth, salt and pepper.
- Puree until the sauce is smooth.
Disclosure: This is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own. This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!