Saturday, 9 August 2008

Polish lentil patties

Polish: soczewica
Mapunzugun: jügi
Basque: dilista
Breton: pizenn rous
Persian: عدس
Hebrew: עדשה
Russian: чечевица
French: lentille
Greek: φακή
Upper Sorbian: sok

I love lentils almost as much as I love all kind of patties, fritters or pancakes, especially those savoury ones made from differrent kind of vegetables. If you already tried any of the patties / croquettes that I showed on my blog (grain croquettes from buckwheat , rolled oats or quinoa; sweet croquettes from black locust, apples or carrots; fish croquettes from codfish or herring; pulse/nut croquettes from soybean or walnuts; vegetable croquettes from aubergine, zucchini or spinach - yes, the spinach dumplings can be fried as patties too), I think you may like to taste soczewiaki, Polish lentil-potato patties, too. This dish comes from north-eastern Poland.

(ingredients for 8 patties)
1/2 cup red lentils
potatoes (*see point 1.)
1 big onion
salt, pepper, optionally cumin and curry powder
flour, a bit
garnish: tomato slices, lettuce, parsley

1. Wash potatoes, don't peel them but cook in salted water. The best would be to peel them and leave in the fridge overnight but if not then at least for 2 hours. After that time, grate them with a vegetable grater, not necessarily very fine. Take 1 cup and 1 full tablespoon of grated potatoes - this is the dough for the patties.

2. Wash lentils carefully, until the water in which you wash them is clear. Cook washed lentils in 1 1/2 cup water, covered, on a low heat. After 20 minutes start cooking on a high heat stirring constantly, to obtain a thick lentil puree. Add salt, pepper and optionally curry powder and cumin. I say optionally, cause those last two are not an ingredient of typical soczewiaki, but in my opinion adding curry powder and cumin makes them taste much, much better.

3. Take walnut-size balls from potato puree and roll so thin as you can. You can do it in your hands. Potato dough shouldn't be sticky but you may like to sprinkle your hands with flour. Put a walnut-size ball of lentil puree on each potato sheet and hide it by closing potato sheet and roll.

4. When ready, sprinkle each croquette with some flour and deep-fry. In another saucepan, fry thinly sliced onion half-rings until golden brown.

5. Drain croquettes on a kitchen paper, put a bit of fried onion on each croquette and serve warm or cooled with fresh vegetables.


John Michael Keba said...

Great recipes! What a shame you have stopped blogging them. I found this recipe on a search to see if anyone else has made "lentil buckwheat pancakes." It does not seem so, and I guess I should share :-)

1 cup lentils, washed, allowed to dry out, and ground into "flour."
1 cup buckwheat groats, ground to flour
1 cup regular baking flour
salt, baking soda and baking powder, and buttermilk to make the batter.

I like the pancakes thick, with butter and honey!

Ewa said...

John, so I am back again :) Hoping to post regularily. Your lentil-buckwheat-pancake recipe looks g r e a t! I really have to try it! Should I use yellow or brown lentils or it doesn't matter? Is it an "ethnic" recipe, did you get it from your ancestors or maybe it was just your imagination?
Best regards!

John Michael Keba said...

Glad you are back, Ewa!

I have used brown and yellow lentils; the latter give the pancakes a golden color. I should amend the recipe, though. Mix the dry ingredients then add regular milk or water to make a very thick batter, and let it set for several hours to work on the lentil "flour." It will set up like mortar. Add the buttermilk right before you heat up the griddle! You can thin it out to make nice chewy crepes, too. I have stuffed those with sour cream, mushrooms and dill, and with seafood.

I wanted a full protein pancake for my aged father. I had seen chickpea flour in Indian stores, and thought, "Why not try grinding lentils." It worked!

And by the way, I love "Bridge on the Drina"!