My single favourite cuisine has got to be Indian. I just love the rich, thick, sauces and punchy spices. It’s one of those meals you crave when you’re ravenously hungry, as you can almost shovel the food into your face and feel it instantly sating your appetite and warming you up. But it is nice to have some variation in the texture to break up those heaping forkfuls of sauce and rice, and these croquettes do the trick perfectly. They are crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy in the middle, and full of healthy veggies and protein-packed lentils. They make a great appetiser too, as they’re small and easily picked up to dip in mango chutney or your favourite dip. Oh, and it's a great way to use up leftover mashed potato too!
Vegan Indian Pea and Lentil Croquettes Recipe
Ingredients (makes 8 croquettes):
300g leftover mashed potato*
½ red onion
2 cloves garlic
2cm fresh ginger
1 cup frozen peas
75g dried red lentils
2 tsp curry powder
2 slices brown bread (not seeded)
3 Tbsp flour
¼ cup unsweetened plant milk
1 Tbsp corn-starch
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Prepare your lentils as per the packet instructions (usually red lentils don’t need soaking and require just 15 minutes boiling in water then draining). Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger to fry for 1 further minute, before adding the frozen peas and continuing to fry for another 5 minutes. Now add the pea mixture, drained cooked lentils, and curry powder to the mashed potatoes, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir to thoroughly mix. Set this mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or even overnight) to make firm and easier to handle / shape.
Meanwhile, prepare the breadcrumbs by cutting the crusts off two slices of stale brown bread (avoid seeded varieties for bread-crumbing) and blitzing in a food processor until fine. Now, shape your croquette mixture into 8 small patties or cylinders. Prepare your breading process by gathering 3 small bowls and tipping 3 Tbsp flour into the first, plant milk mixed with corn-starch in the second, and your breadcrumbs in the third. Dip each croquette into the flour to coat, followed by the corn-starch thickened milk, then the breadcrumbs. Now heat the oil in a frying pan, and once very hot, fry the croquettes in batches of 4 (to avoid cooling the oil). Don’t be tempted to turn too often, as you want to ensure the croquettes get nice and golden-crispy. They should be done after about 5 minutes, turning a few times. Place in a warm oven whilst cooking the second batch.
Nutrition (per 2 croquettes):
Protein: 10.6g (Women: 21.2% / Men: 19.3%)
Iron: 3.0mg (Women: 20.3% / Men: 34.5%)
Calories: 306 (Women: 15.3% / Men: 12.2%)
Sugars: 5.8g (Women: 6.4% / Men: 4.8%)
Total Fats: 9.0g (Women: 12.9% / Men: 9.5%)
Saturated Fat: 1.0g (Women: 5.0% / Men: 3.3%)
Salt: 0.6g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 10.0%)
Fibre: 6.6g (Women: 22.0% / Men: 22.0%)
See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.
*Mashed potato - peel 300g Russet or Maris Piper potatoes and chop into 1-inch cubes. Drop into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender when prodded with a fork. Drain thoroughly, then mash with 3 Tbsp unsweetened plant milk and 2 tsp vegan butter.