Red lentil fritters

June 22, 2011  •  Category:


The challenge with these fritters is to infuse them with flavor as they tend to be bland on their own; so go ahead and add all the spices that your little heart desires and you will be rewarded with a delicious appetizer. Squeeze some citrus juice on the fritters before inhaling them, it will enhance their flavor and help with the absorption of the iron in the lentils.


  • 1 cup of red lentils, cooked in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes till soft.
  • 1/2 cup of bulgur (#1), soaked in water 10 minutes, then drained and squeezed of the extra water.
  • 3/4 cup of rice, cooked.
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of harissa (can substitute red pepper paste of your choice or chili paste)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, mashed with salt in a mortar till pasty
  • 2 scallions, minced (can substitute shallot) (optional)
  • Rind of an orange or a lemon or a lime
  • 1/2 cup of minced cilantro
  • 1 cup of minced Italian parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons of powdered dried mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup of  sesame seeds (can substitute pistachios, pecans or walnuts, chopped fine)
  • 1 or 2 lemons, quartered
  • oil for frying, as needed

These are served with a quick salad of diced tomatoes, diced feta and minced parsley dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, with a touch of sumac if desired.

NOTE: I made the effort to buy a feta with a Greek origin and was rewarded with a creamy smooth-tasting cheese, far superior to the other varieties I used to buy. I soaked the feta in water to make it a bit less salty.

For extra flavor, fry the minced herbs and garlic in a little olive oil for no more than 10 seconds, then add to the lentil mixture.


  1. Place the cooked (and drained) lentils in a large bowl. Add the drained bulgur, rice, egg, flour, minced scallions, harissa and other spices, rind of a citrus and toss well to combine. Heat a little olive oil in a small skillet, throw the minced herbs and mashed garlic and stir to combine the mixture for no more than 10 seconds. Remove and add to the lentil mixture and toss.
  2. Shape the fritters with  an ice-cream scoop and dip in the sesame seeds or other nuts.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan (about one inch) and when hot (at 350F to 375F), drop the fritters and cook about 3 minutes on one side and one minute on the other. Place on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Serve with the salad and some quartered lemon or limes.


21 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Lentil Breakdown says:

    These remind me of some baked falafel patties I just made. You can even make them gluten-free with garbanzo flour instead of regular. I like how you coated them in the sesame seeds.

  2. Tim Vidra says:

    That looks amazing! Whew that is a lot of ingredients but I bet the flavor just surrounds the house and palate!


  3. Devaki says:

    The sesame seed coating is splendid and reminds me of my mum’s sasame chicken which btw she fries perfection 🙂 Wonderful hearty flavors here Joumana and beautifully presented!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  4. Green Shushi says:

    mmm–this looks delicious! I love love love red lentils. I have to try this one day.

  5. Belinda @zomppa says:

    So pretty. I love the addition of citrus peel to waken everything up.

  6. Aldy says:

    Oooh, Beautiful 🙂 I love red lentils and these fritters absolutely fantastic!

    Have a great day,


  7. Chiara says:

    Looks delicious Joumana! I have to try soon, thanks for sharing….

  8. Rosa says:

    A great dish! Red lentils have such a lovely flavor.

    Bises et bonne journée,


  9. Priya says:

    Fritters looks soo tempting and crispy..

  10. Suman Singh says:

    I can imagine how delicious it would have tasted with all those ingredients in it..YUM..loving the feta salad too..looks so fresh!!

  11. meriem says:

    Ta recette est superbe. J’aime le fait que tu serves tes galettes de lentilles avec cette belle salade grèque. Je la note. Merci Joumana.

  12. sweetlife says:

    great appetizer idea!! the spices really kick up the lentil and the sesame coating add great texture.
    thank you for sharing


  13. Faith says:

    Really delicious looking fritters, Joumana. I love all the spices and that crunchy sesame coating looks wonderful!

  14. Tova says:

    I absolutely love red lentils, and the salad you served it with look perfect for summer!

  15. Scienter says:

    These look awesome! I love anything I can put lemon juice on. I actually have all of the ingredients in my pantry right now!

  16. Adelina says:

    Joumana, I miss you and your beautiful posts. You never disappoint me and feel so therapeutic when I come a just scroll down you recent posts. Thanks for you creations… they are very inspirational. I have not been blogging for quite sometime, but you make me want to return and see what you’ve been up too.

  17. fimère says:

    ces beignets doivent être bien gouteux, j’aime beaucoup l’idée
    bonne soirée

  18. Oui, Chef says:

    I love lentils in all their forms and can totally see doing this dish as a side, not just an appetizer to shake things up a bit. Delicious with chicken or fish, I bet. – S

  19. Peter says:

    The red lentils help the dish look better than the brown or green ones..i just love meatless patties/fritters.

  20. Magic of Spice says:

    These are just packed with beautiful flavors…great use for lentils, which I adore 🙂

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