Persian Spiced Lentil Patties Recipe

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Passover may be over, but we're still finding gems in the Jewish Traditional Cooking tome that brought us such Jewish holiday successes as Potato Kugel. Celebrate Meatless Monday with these delicious Persian-style lentil patties.

It started with a fragrant, pink Ispahan rose that tumbled over the kitchen fence. I dried the petals, savoring the scent. Then I discovered advieh, a Persian spice mix some of our ancestors used to spice rice. A basic recipe uses one teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground rose petals, with half a teaspoon ground cumin. Now my Persian rose petals have evolved into a spice ingredient!

Reprinted with permission from Jewish Traditional Cooking

Persian Spiced Lentil Patties Recipe
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  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red chile
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 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
  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.
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