Saturday, January 11, 2014

Red Lentil Fritters

The clock turns three in the afternoon and I think- snacks!

I am not sure if its me or the bengali in me that thinks snacks = deep fried savory goodies to be had with a nice cup of hot tea or coffee in the afternoon. However, the adult in me knows that its not good to have deep fried food everyday. But, I am too young to give up that, aren't I? Hmm.

How about lentil fritters? They are loaded with protein, doesn't that make them good? Well, I can bake them instead of frying. But doesn't frying make everything taste way better than baked? Don't answer that....

The winter is in no hurry to leave. So, pull that blanket a little closer and snuggle your toes into your socks as you bite into these crispy lentil fritters!

It is quite the Indian custom to beat the cold or the rain with hot tea, fried food, good company and good humor. Unfortunately, San Diego (where I live) neither gets much rain nor gets much cold. Gosh, does that prevent me from savoring these from time to time. NO!

Dunk these in some ketchup or your favorite tomato sauce or cilantro chutney. No need to bite into these 'cause one little one is one perfect morsel. (too many "one"s in one sentence)

There is nothing in this recipe that you won't have in your pantry which qualifies this for an any day recipe. These fritters are quite multi-talented I would say. You can enjoy them as snacks or as appetizers or use them in a curry (will post recipe sometime). These can be very good party food too!

Here come's the recipe:

You need:

¾ cup red lentils

½ cup diced yellow onion

2 green chilies, minced (add more or less according to your tolerance of heat- may substitute with chili powder)

½ teaspoon nigella seeds/kalonji/kalo jeera

salt to taste

pinch of turmeric

pinch of baking soda

½ cup chopped cilantro

Vegetable/Canola oil for frying

Let's cook:

Soak the lentils for 3-4 hours. Grind them to a smooth paste. If using dry lentils (didn't get a chance to soak them-which happens to me all the time) grind them with the help of water to bring it to smooth consistency.

Add all the other ingredients (except oil) and whisk well. [Something I do every time I use baking soda in fried food is that I whisk the batter for a few minutes- I think it helps the fritters to be airy and crispy.]

Put a shallow pan with half an inch of vegetable/canola oil on medium heat.

Add a teaspoon of the batter to the hot oil. Fry on one side for a few minutes and then fry the other side for another few minutes till they are reddish in color.

Soak the excess oil on a paper towel and serve warm with ketchup or chutney.

Use the leftovers (if any) in delicious curry- these fritters become soft pillows soaked in curry- Lentil Dumplings Curry

You may like: Lentil Dumplings Curry


  1. How much water do you soak the lentils in and do you drain it all off or grind it up with the lentils?

    1. Add enough water such that it is at least an inch above the lentils. I usually drain it all and then add little at a time to grind them to a smooth paste. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. thanks for trying this. Let me know how it turns out. Best.

  2. I made these for dinner tonight. My spices were a bit different. I used cumin, turmeric, and yellow curry. The rest of the spices were the same. I served it with zucchini rice, and the baby, the toddler, and the teenager ate them right up! Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you for trying. Cumin goes very well with this. I am so happy to hear that the little ones loved it :)

  3. Looking fir a recipe like this for a long time! Excellent blog post thank you :)

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