Lentil & Quinoa Balls
1 cup black lentils (or brown/green – NOT split)
1 fat clove garlic, peeled, left whole
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ cup uncooked quinoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
handful coriander, chopped
170g firm tofu (NOT silken)
drizzle of olive oil
Coconut Curry Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil (or knob of coconut oil)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp crushed fresh ginger
1 tsp grated fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp ground)
2 large tomatoes, chopped (retain any juice)
1 x 400ml can coconut milk (NOT lite)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Meatballs no more! The crunchy texture and nuttiness of the balls paired with the curry sauce — beautiful — a simple, family meal.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Pop lentils in a pan, cover with 3 cups water then add garlic clove and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil then simmer (uncovered) until lentils are just tender, or they give a little when squeezed between your finger and thumb. Drain and set aside (retain garlic clove).
Meanwhile, pop quinoa in a saucepan and top with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat and cook (covered) for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside (covered) until ready to use.
In a food processor, add half the cooked lentils, quinoa, salt, paprika and coriander. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. You may need to do this a few times, scraping the bowl down each time. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add remaining lentils.
In the same food processor, add tofu and cooked garlic clove (from the lentils). Blend until tofu has the consistency of soft butter. Scrape into the lentil and quinoa mixture, this will act as the binder. Add oil and combine well.
Wet your hands and roll mixture in golf-sized balls. Place on prepared tray and bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the sauce add olive oil to a saucepan. When bubbling, add garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook until soft and fragrant. Add tomatoes and any juice and cook until all liquid has evaporated. Stir in coconut milk, fenugreek seeds, lemon juice, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until thick. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
JAX SAYS: These vege balls can be used in a pasta dish with a tomato sauce, or instead of falafels tucked into a pita with salad and tahini sauce.