I was really excited this week to find out that Vegan Richa had released a new cook book – Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen. After purchasing my copy and flicking through the 140+ recipes inside, these Lentil Meatballs in Makhani Sauce really caught my eye and I had to try them.
I’m a big fan of Richa’s cooking and have already tried many of the recipes on her blog. I have to say, these lentil meatballs in makhani sauce are my favourite so far!
Richa endorses a simple way of cooking, using wholesome ingredients that taste amazing every time and are inclusive of different dietary requirements. I’ve found that her recipes are always packed full of complex flavours and very authentic. Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen explores everyday recipes from around the world and includes 8 chapters of meals (Asian, Thai, Burgers, Pizza, Bowls, Curries, Burgers, Casseroles). 1 huge chapter on desserts, and chapters on sauces and basics.
There’s a ton of amazing recipes in the book that I’m looking forward to working my way though. Check out these numbers:
- Over 140 Recipes.
- 132 Gluten-free or option Recipes.
- 124 Soy-free or option Recipes.
- 107 Nut-free or option Recipes.
- 70 recipes that can be made within 30 minutes
Richa explains how to make the makhani sauce and lentil meatballs so clearly that it’s hard to go wrong with this recipe. The lentil meatballs were slightly too moist before cooking so I added some extra breadcrumbs and they turned out perfect. Richa has judged the flavours and ingredients really well which gives the lentils give a really meaty taste and consistency.
Everyday Kitchen recommends that you pair the lentil meatballs up with a Makhani or Masala sauce. The sauce is rich and creamy and has a restaurant quality taste. In fact, sauces are one of Vegan Richa’s specialities and the book is full of ‘awesome sauces’ that can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer for later.
I recommend making the meatballs first so that you can drop them into the sauce as it is finishing off.
If you enjoy these I definitely recommend picking up a copy of Richa’s book.
- For this recipe you will require a food processor. I use this Andrew James processor (affiliate link) which does a great job and is very good value.
- How to make a flax egg.
Lentil Meatballs in Makhani Sauce
Delicious vegan lentil meatballs in an authentic makhani sauce as seen in Vegan Richa's Everyday Kitchen
For the Makhani sauce
- 2 tsp sunflower or other neutral oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 dried bay leaf (optional)
- 8-10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (120g) finely chopped red onion
- 1 (1-inch [3cm]) knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 1/2 cups (240g) fresh or canned finely chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup (30g) raw cashews or 1/4 cup(60g) silken tofu, or coconut cream to make it nut free
- 1/2 to 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water or plain unsweetened almond milk (or full-fat coconut milk to make nut-free)
- 1 1/2 tsps dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 tsp sugar
For the lentil meatballs
- 1/2 cup (60g) chopped red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 (1/4-inch [0.6cm]) knob fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/3 cup (40g) raw walnuts
- 2 tbsps (6g) cilantro leaves (optional)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepepr
- 1/2 tsp garam masala or curry powder
- 3/4 cup (150g) cooked brown or white rice, chilled
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) cooked brown lentils or 1 (15-ounce [425g]) can lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp organic safflower oil or other neutral oil
- 1 flax egg (see description)
- 3 tbsps (15g) dry breadcrumbs or all-purpose flour (or chickpea flour to make gluten-free)
For the Makhani Sauce
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until it is slightly golden on some edges, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and ginger and cook until golden, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the turmeric, cayenne, and garam masala and stir for a few seconds.
Add the tomatoes, cashews, salt, and 1/4 cup (60ml) of the water and cook until the tomatoes are saucy, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cool slightly, remove the bay leaf, and transfer the sauce to a blender.
Blend the sauce with the remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) water until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a storage bowl or into a frying if you will be using the sauce immediately (for the meatballs). Add the fenugreek leaves and sugar and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
For the lentil meatballs
In a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic, ginger, walnuts, and cilantro (if using) until the ingredients are finely chopped. Add the salt (if using unsalted lentils), cumin, coriander, garlic powder, cayenne, garam masala, rice, and 3/4 cup (150g) of the lentils and pulse a few times until the ingredients are well combined and most of the lentils are mashed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 cup (150g) lentils, lime juice, oil, and flax egg. Mash and mix the ingredients to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Let the mixture chill in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
After the mixture has chilled, check its consistency. If the chilled mixture is too wet, add more flour or breadcrumbs. Add another flax egg if the mixture is too dry. Roll the mixture into tight, 1- to 1 1/2-inch (3- to 4cm) balls.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and make sure it covers the entire bottom of the skillet. Add the lentil balls and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Turn the balls every 2 minutes to brown them on most sides. (Alternatively, to bake the lentil balls, place the balls on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray oil on the balls and bake at 375°F [190°C] for 20 to 22 minutes.)
In a small saucepan, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. (Add a small amount of water if using refrigerated and thickened sauce.) Add the lentil balls and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.