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
Baked Curry Lentil Cakes Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
The lentil cakes:
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 ½ cups water
- 5 garlic cloves divided
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- juice of ½ lemon
- 3 tablespoons cilantro
- 2 large roasted red peppers 4 halves, roughly chopped (see How to: Roast a Bell Pepper)
- ¾ teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ yellow onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- dash of salt and pepper to taste
The Lentil Cakes:
- 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!
I made these for my dinner tonight. Being the only vegetarian in my family has its advantages - I have all this deliciousness for myself. My husband did like the red pepper sauce for his meatloaf. though. I left out the cilantro because I just didn't feel like it. Also, my lentils cooked way faster than indicated, maybe in 17 minutes. I was worried that the mixture wouldn't hold together, but they really worked once the breadcrumbs were added. Thanks so much for a lovely recipe!
Brianne @ Natural Girl Modern World
Such a great recipe idea - looks absolutely delicious. Lovely photos as well !
Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze
I need to use lentil more often. I only use them when I make them for my hubby in his dal and rice. I would love to snack or lunch on theses. Looks so yummy!
Michelle @ blackberry babe
I totally did not know they were called pulses! I do need to take that pledge and learn how to work these healthy foods in a bit more!
The recipe looks great! I didn't notice the Weight Watchers calculations at first so I entered the nutritional info into the calculator and I got 6 points, not 4. I'd rather it be 4, but would love to know for sure!
Hi there! So, the new SmartPoints system is a little confusing that way. If you enter the nutritional informational listed, you do indeed get 6 points. However, most fruits and vegetables are not included in the SmartPoints system. So, what I do is figure out the nutritional information without the relevant fruits and vegetables, and figure out the SmartPoints from there (hence, 4 points). For the other points (Points+ and Old Points), I use the full nutritional information listed. Does that make sense?
Thanks for the fast response! Yes, that does make sense!
This would be 6 points then because when calculating a meal or recipe it takes all the nutritional information to calculate the points value. That's why a meal point value is often higher than the total of the individual items.
Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen
I need to cook with lentils more because these look amazing! Loving that sauce!
These deliciously crunchy lentil cakes look amazing. I'm so happy it's The Year of the Pulses.
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
These sound wonderful! Totally digging that roasted red pepper sauce, too!
I saw this on Small Bites.
I'm so glad your talking about this also.
I think this is an important food group but I have friends that think these should not be included in your diet.
Four smart points sounds wonderful for this recipe.
Jessica - The Novice Chef
Cilantro, Curry and Lentils?? I"m in! This looks delicious!
Those look so perfect and the flavours here are just amazing. Pinning!
Chandra@The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen
That res pepper sauce looks amazing!
This is right up my alley, and that sauce is incredible, I love the color of roasted red peppers!
Hi Dara, these look really good! Besides buying the red lentils on Amazon, where do you suggest buying the red lentils?
Hi Diana, do you have an Indian market nearby? If so, you can usually buy a big bag of red lentils for a very reasonable price. Bob's Red Mill also makes red lentils and those are carried in many grocery stores. I hope that helps!
Isabelle @ Crumb
I signed the Pulse Pledge earlier this month, though it's really just a formality... I'm already a devoted pulse lover and regularly add them to my meals. (Especially chickpeas. I'm obsessed with those!)
I love the combination of red lentils, curry and brown rice you've used here, and the roasted red pepper puree sounds like the perfect addition to boost both colour and flavour!
Thanks so much, Isabelle. Pulses are a regular thing at our house too, Isabelle, and I hope more people get on board!
Hi ! This looks really good ! Can you freeze these lentil-cakes ? If so, how long can I keep them in my freezer.
Thanks again for all your recipies !
From an other Canuck
Hi Kim, I haven't tried freezing these lentil cakes myself, but have successfully frozen black bean patties in the past. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper (before cooking), flash freeze, then wrap each patty individually. Take them out of the freezer and transfer to the fridge several hours before cooking. I hope that helps!
I always love hearing from another Canuck! 🙂
You see? You learn something new every day! I had no idea what pulses were, but now I do. I'll be sure to sign up for the pledge because I definitely need to eat pulses more often. These lentil cakes sound amazing!
I'm thrilled to hear you're going to sign up for the pledge! I hope you have a chance to try the lentil cakes.