Thursday, 19 November 2015

Lentil Balls with Tomato Gravy

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Like most meals I either plan ahead for the week or I just wing it. These last few weeks were definitely winged. Last night when I was thinking about what tomorrow's dinner was going to be all I thought was to soak the rest of my white & red lentils and then I'll figure the rest out in the morning. 
After I boiled the lentils I then opened the fridge to see what other ingredients I wanted to use so I can figure out what to make. So I just started adding my ingredients and now I'm making lentil balls. What I was serving the lentils balls with, I was faced again with no idea but I knew I'd figure it out later when I got home later that day. Talk about winging it. Sometimes it's a pain to just wing it but most of the time it's part of the fun in cooking for me. It makes my mind find its creative side. A few hours before dinner I thought about making a sauce. What kind now was again yet another question. So to the pantry and fridge I went again. Voilá, tomato gravy was made. I'm calling it gravy because of the thickness and colour otherwise it's pretty much tomato sauce !! :) 
Below you will find each recipe.

Lentil Ball 

2 cups of pre-soaked & cooked white & red lentils
1/2 cup red onion
1 cup of packed down spinach or a huge handful
1/4 cup red pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt & pepper
1/4 cup chick pea flour
1 tsp curry powder
Plus 1/2 cup of coconut flour or one of your choice for coating
Oil for frying
**use organic when possible**
Yields about 18-20 pieces


Rinse the lentils under cold water really well
Place in a bowl with 3 times more the water then the lentils as they will double their size
Pre-soak lentils over night by either leaving them in the fridge or on the counter. I always leave mine on the counter
In the morning or when you are ready to start cooking. Drain and rinse the lentils really well
Boil lentils for about 30 minutes or till tender then drain and rinse
Measure 2 cups and place lentils in a large mixing bowl and 1/2 mash them
Refrigerate the rest and use in another recipe 
Finely chop the onion, pepper, spinach & garlic and add them the lentils
Add salt, pepper, curry & chick pea flour and mix really well
**Give it a taste test before the flour to see if you have enough salt. At this point add more if you wish 
Compact the mix by pressing down with your spoon, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. I left mine for about 4 hours 
When you are ready to make the balls remove the bowl from the fridge
Add flour to a bowl
Roll lentil mix into balls and then the flour. Making sure to shake off the excess flour to prevent the extra from burning in the pan
Heat a pan on medium-low heat. ( adjust heat if need be ) When pan is hot add your oil of choice. Approx 1-2 tbsp. Mine was coconut oil 
Once oil is hot, ( you can test that by flicking a little water into it. If it sizzles your oil is ready )
Drop how many pieces you like into the pan depending on the size of pan you use 
Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. I even rolled them on their sides for extra crispiness & colour 
Once done place on a glass plate with a paper towel or napkin to remove excess oil
Repeat till all the pieces are cooked
Eat right away or store in the fridge for later or another day. I'd say no longer than 3 days in the fridge. Any longer than that I'd freeze them
  These are great served on their own with a dipping sauce or added to a meal. I think if there is any leftovers I might make some lettuce wraps with them. Yum! I love lettuce wraps. But for now these are going in the recipe below.

Tomato Gravy

1 796 ml can of diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 small red onion 
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp kecap manis
1 1/2 cup plain almond milk ( or one of your choice. Coconut milk would have been my first choice but I was out :)
**use organic when possible
Yields about 5 cups


Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. I used my vitamix. 
Place a pan on medium-high heat with about 1-2 tbsp oil of your choice. I used coconut oil.
Add the tomato gravy mix to the pan. Bring to almost a full boil then turn the heat down to low-medium to simmer. 
Let the mixture simmer for about 30-40 minutes while stirring often. This mix will reduce and thicken.
Once the gravy reaches the thickness you like, remove it from the heat.
Serve with the above previous recipe or with another of your choice.
If not using right away then store in the refrigerator or freeze and use for a later time.

Easy, delicious and very versatile. The best is a batch of sauce goes a long way. You can incorporate it into so many meals. 

 This is what was requested to go with these two recipes. Naan bread and basmati rice. (  Definitely not the paleo or gluten free option!!! ) 
However not everyone likes all my healthy choices in this house, so I have to comprise at times. :)

Hope you enjoy and may you be Nutritionally Well.

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