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Lentil Meatballs with Indian Fenugreek Sauce

Vegan and gluten-free, these flavorful meatballs are served in a savory fenugreek coconut sauce.
Total Time
1h 15 min

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Simple Tasty Recipes

Ingredients for 4 to 6 Servings

  • Lentil Meatballs
  • 1 cup
    small caviar lentils (uncooked)
  • 1 tsp
    fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup
    quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    granulated garlic
  • 1/3 cup
    chopped cilantro
  • 6 ounces
    firm tofu
  • 1 to 2 tbsp
    olive oil

  • Coconut Fenugreek Sauce
  • 6 cloves
    garlic, minced
  • 1 tbps
    ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp
    turmeric, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 1 tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1
    large tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp
    dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 13.5 ounce can
    coconut milk (not light)
  • 1 tbsp
    lime juice
  • 1 tsp
    brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp
    salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    cracked pepper


  • Preparation Time
    30 min
  • Cooking Time
    45 min
  • Total Time
    1h 15 min

Goes Great with


  1. Bring lentils, fennel seeds, and 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat in a small pot. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Over high heat, bring quinoa and 1 cup of water to boil in a small pot. Cover, turn heat to low, simmer 15 minutes, turn heat off, and leave covered.
  3. Make the sauce: In a skillet or medium pot, sauté the garlic and ginger in olive oil over medium heat until just golden, stirring often to prevent burning. Add turmeric (fresh or dried) and sauté 1 more minute. Add diced tomato and sauté until most of the juices evaporate, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, fenugreek leaves, lime juice, brown sugar, salt, cayenne, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat until ready to serve.
  4. Make the meatballs: Preheat oven to 400° F. In a food processor, pulse the quinoa and half the lentils until the texture is that of coarse sand. Place in a large bowl and add the remaining lentils, chopped cilantro, salt, and granulated garlic to the bowl and mix well. In the same food processor, combine tofu and 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil. (The tofu will bind the mixture and the oil will keep it from drying out.) Pulse the tofu and oil until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Scoop it into the lentil mixture and combine well. Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet. With your hands, knead the lentil mixture briefly until it’s thoroughly mixed and the salt and spices are evenly distributed. Form small ping-pong-sized balls. Place on baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Warm the sauce and arrange the warm lentil meatballs in it. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.

Goes Great with

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