5 June 2006
I tried making “lentil patties” (lentil cakes, lentil croquettes – pick a name, any name!) using the leftovers from the curried lentils. I’m sure I’ve seen such a treatment for leftover lentil dishes, but couldn’t find it in the cookbooks I flipped through. I did find other recipes, starting with raw lentils, but none that started with leftovers. Most of them use some kind of breading or an egg for binder – as Crescent Dragonwagon writes in Passionate Vegetarian (which has an entire chapter on “Savory Cakes, Burgers, and Patties”):
“Eggs serve a valuable function as binders because they start out liquid, turn solid during cooking, and add a kind of rich, satisfying neutral flavor that nothing else quite matches.”
But did I pay attention to what I read? No! I reasoned that the cooked lentils were sort of batter like to begin with, and should be fine. I was wrong. They didn’t really stick together, and were hard to turn over. On the plus side, cooking this way did dry them out somewhat, which I think I preferred. But next time, I’ll pay attention to the recipes I consult!