Persian Spiced Lentil patties



1 1/2 cups red lentils
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red chile, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon advieh seasoning (available from specialist Middle Eastern shops) or ras-el-hanout
2 organic free-range eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup medium matzo meal
olive oil, for shallow-frying
  1. Place the lentils in a glass bowl, cover with double the volume of water, and cook in the microwave on high for 30 minutes. (Alternatively, simmer them gently in a pan over low heat until tender, topping up with water as necessary to stop them from drying out.) Drain any excess liquid. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, gently cook the shallots in the olive oil until soft but not colored. Add the chile, cilantro and advieh and stir for a few minutes to coat the shallots in the herbs and spices. Break the eggs into a large bowl and beat well with a fork. Add the cooked shallots and the cooked lentils and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the matzo meal to bind and set aside to swell for about 10 minutes.
  3. With wet hands, form the lentil mixture into golfball-sized balls and flatten slightly. Cook the patties in the olive oil for 4–5 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with homemade flatbread (or pita) and salad.
  4. If necessary, these patties can be cooked in advance and reheated, either in the microwave on high for 2 minutes or on a baking sheet in a warm oven for 5 minutes.

Curried Lentil Soup

(Serves 4 as a main course)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons (1 large) shallots, minced
  • 1 cup (1 large or 2 medium) carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 heaping teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
  • Roasted cashews or pepitas, for garnish (optional)
  • Toasted coconut, for garnish (optional)


  1. Dice the ginger and vegetables. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and then add the ginger, garlic, shallots and carrots. Cook, stirring often, for 7-8 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add the curry powder, stir and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, the water, 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and the lentils and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and carrots are soft, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup, until very smooth, with an immersion blender or standing blender. Return the soup to the pot (if using a standing blender) and add most of the dried cherries and cilantro (save some for garnish). Taste and add salt, as needed.
  4. Pour the soup into bowls. Drizzle in the remaining coconut milk. Garnish with remaining cilantro and dried cherries. Add nuts or toasted coconut for garnish, if you like. Serve.