You know what I love? Tinned lentils. I also love dried lentils – in fact, I have yet to meet a lentil I don’t like. Lentils, man! They’re high in protein, tasty, filling, cheap, versatile…
It’s love, and I’m not ashamed.
I wasn’t actually sure how this recipe was going to turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well all the flavours and textures complimented one another; warm, pliable flatbread, crispy lentil “meatballs”, and a zingy flavourful mayonnaise. What’s not to like?
This recipe can be so easily grossed up to feed a crowd, and you can even bake the balls if you’re making a bigger batch – though they might not be quite as crispy. No, you know what? Brush them with oil before baking. Live your best life.
Crispy Lentil “Meatball” Flatbreads with Curry Mayo (Vegetarian, Vegan)
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Medium frying pan; medium mixing bowl; small mixing bowl; masher; grater; sieve; a couple of spoons for mixin’; tongs or a similar implement to move your balls around (it’s okay to laugh – it’s funny).
- 400g tin lentils (usually around 240g drained)
- 2 tsp chutney (I used chilli & tomato, but caramelised onion is good too)
- 25-75g dry breadcrumbs (how much you need will depend on how wet your lentils are)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise (sub this for a vegan mayonnaise if going dairy-free)
- 1 tsp medium curry powder
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2-4 flatbreads (I use these folded ones for 4 smaller ones, or larger, Greek-style ones for big buggers)
- 1 carrot
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Get your pan on a medium heat and add the oil. Drain and rinse your lentils thoroughly, squeezing out the excess water, then pop them into your large mixing bowl. Mash them enthusiastically, then add the chutney and enough breadcrumbs to soak up some of the remaining moisture, then mix it all up – I used my hands, because that’s how I roll, but a spoon would also be fine. If the mixture doesn’t hold together when you try to “squidge” and roll it between your palms, add more breadcrumbs until you have the right consistency. You should be able to make around 12 balls from the mixture, so the easiest way to get a consistent size is to flatten the mixture into an even layer in your bowl, then mark it into twelve, like you’re slicing up a pizza; then just take 1/12th of the mixture and roll it firmly into a ball. Voila! Do the same for the rest.
- Wash your hands. Seriously. You’re going to be covered in lentils. Once your hands are lentil-free, add the balls to your pan and leave them to start crisping up while you finish your other bits off.
- Mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder, then set aside. Scrub your carrot – no need to peel it – then coarsely grate it.
- Cook your “meatballs” for around 10 minutes overall, turning them occasionally and shaking the pan to get them crisp on all sides.
- Just before serving, put your flatbreads in the toaster for just long enough to warm them through – this part is optional, but recommended. Spread each flatbread with a generous amount of the curry mayo, sprinkle with grated carrot, and add some balls to each one. Fold up and enjoy!
Warning: this may lead to you putting curry mayonnaise on everything. How is it so good? Scientists are looking into it.
Take care of yourselves, guys. Eat a vegetable. Maybe even two!
Yes, I made 12 balls. And yes there are only 5 balls in the picture of my flatbread. There was some curry mayo left in the bowl I’d used for mixing… so a ball had to be sacrificed. No regrets.