Since my time in Spain, lentils are one of my all-time favorite ingredients in the kitchen. You can get them cheap anywhere, easily store them and they have really great nutritional value. 100 grams of lentils have 26 grams of protein but only 2 grams of fat. They also supply our body with important minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron and folic acid.
They are not only delicious, but also extremely diverse. Whether daal, vegan Bolognese or a spicy topping for your lahmacun – lentils can do all.
Today I would like to share with you another great recipe: Lentil Schnitzel. I got the idea from a friend. She had always made it for the children in a free school in Portugal and was not allowed to cook anything else for weeks. The schnitzels are also ideal as a vegan patty for burgers or sandwiches.
But I love it together with a Hungarian classic: Rizi Bizi. This rice dish with peas and carrots was the favorite dish of my girlfriend Zoé when she was a child. Here we go:
What you need (for 4 person):
For the schnitzel:
400 grams of red lentils
2 cloves of garlic
half a bunch of parsley
For the Rizi Bisi:
250 grams of Thai jasmine rice
500 grams of frozen peas
The first thing I do is to soak the lentils. You use them uncooked, but they have to steep for a while. Put the lentils in a bowl, cover them with water and let them rest for about 3 hours. Longer does not hurt either. In between, always check if the lentils have already drawn up all the water, and if so, add a little bit more.
After the 3 hours, puree the lentils to a homogeneous mixture and season them with salt, pepper and cumin. (You can of course also use any other spices you like). The lentil schnitzel taste very good even without any other ingredients. But you have many options to pimp them a little more with different types of vegetables. You can actually take anything you like. For this recipe I use zucchini, carrot, onion, and garlic.
Cut the vegetables into small pieces and fry them well in a pan with salt and pepper. I like olive oil a lot, but go with what you like best. When the vegetables are done fried, I add them to the bowl with the pureed lentils and mix them all well. Then finely chop the parsley and mix it with the rest.
Now I put the bowl with the lentils aside and let them cool down a bit. In the meantime, I’ll start with the Rizi Bisi. To do this, I cut the carrots into small pieces. I fry them in a little oil in a large saucepan. I’ll take olive oil here too, but you take what you have and what you like best.
After a while I add the peas. I always use frozen peas. Fresh peas are also great, but they are difficult to find. After about 5 minutes I add the rice and sauté it briefly.
Then I add some water. I never add all the water to the rice at once, but gradually. Start with a large cup (300 ml) and when the water is gone and the rice has not yet cooked, you add a little more. You repeat this until the rice is nice and soft.
Basically, you can make Rizi Bisi with any rice. We like it best with jasmine rice.
When the rice is boiling, I start frying the schnitzel on medium heat. You have to wait until the oil in the pan is really hot, then it starts. Shape the lentil batter into a palm-sized schnitzel and put it in the pan. I always put a bowl of lukewarm water aside to wash my hands briefly after each schnitzel. This way the schnitzel won’t stick to your hands.
Make sure the schnitzels are nice and flat. The lentils aren’t cooked and if you make the patties too thick, they’ll stay raw in the middle. You can still press it flat in the pan with a damp spoon and smooth it out.
Depending on the pan, the schnitzel takes about 5 minutes from one side. In fact, a little less. So check it out after three minutes. If you can’t easily remove them from the pan just let them cook an additional minute or two. Then turn and fry them on the other side until they are golden brown.
My little son Hugó likes the schnitzel and rice with curry ketchup best. I prefer some mustard. But also here you know what you like best. Vegan majo, tartar sauce or a yogurt sauce are also very tasty.