Lentil-Quinoa Falafel with Coconut-Fenugreek Sauce

Lentil Falafel with Coconut Fenugreek Sauce

Considering how much food I share here on my space, it might come as a surprise to some readers that my appetite is not always the best. I suppose that is one of the reasons I take such care to make good food with a kick to stimulate hunger.

Also, again perhaps because of my petite appetite, I adore little bites, such as falafels which were on the menu again recently. These are not your most traditional falafels as chickpeas don't show up here, but French lentils, quinoa and soft goat cheese surely make for a unique, creamy falafel with a wonderful nutty and peppery flavor. These baked falafels are crisp, though they almost literally melt in your mouth. To make the dinner more filling as I was sharing with friends, I served them up in pita pockets, and with a dill pickle on the side and served with a divine coconut and fenugreek sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, you really don't need anything else except perhaps a side salad.

Lentil-Quinoa Falafel with Coconut-Fenugreek SauceLentil-Quinoa Falafel with Coconut-Fenugreek Sauce
Recipe by
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Published on September 20, 2014

Crispy baked falafels with a creamy, nutty and peppery French lentil, quinoa and goat cheese interior, served with a delicious, tangy and zesty coconut, fenugreek and sun-dried tomato sauce

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  • 1 cup French (Puy) lentils
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 6 oz (170 g) soft goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Coconut-fenugreek sauce
  • 4 to 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 13 1/2 oz (400 mL) can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek (methi) leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • Rinse the lentils and transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with water. Add the fennel seeds and turmeric and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender — about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa and transfer to a small saucepan and cover with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed — about 15 to 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.

  • While the lentils and quinoa are cooking, soak the sun-dried tomatoes for the sauce in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and finely chop. Set aside.

  • To make the falafel, pulse together the lentils, quinoa, tahini, garlic, cilantro or parsely, goat cheese and olive oil in a food processor until combined. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and let refrigerate for 1 hour.

  • Prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and jalapeño. Stir for a few minutes to soften, then add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and cayenne, and stir for another minute. Now add the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring often, until thickened — about 8 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, stir in the fenugreek leaves and sugar, and continue to simmer until thickened to your desired thickness. Stir in the salt, pepper and lime juice, and simmer for a few minutes longer.

  • Preheat an oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the falafel mixture into small balls and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once during the cooking time. They should be slightly browned and crisp.

  • Serve the falafels with a generous helping of warm sauce. I decided to serve them up "burger" style and stuffed them into a pita pocket with some sauce and a few dill pickles on the side.

Makes 20 falafels or 4 to 6 servings

lentil falafel

Other little bites to enjoy:
Baked Quinoa Falafel Bites
Green Pea Falafel
Chickpea Potato Koftas with Ricotta Cheese
Split Pea Cilantro Dumplings in a Coconut Curry

On the top of the reading stack: The New Criterion

Audio Accompaniment: Carbon Based Lifeforms


Joanne said...

I love this totally unique take on the falafel! Definitely worth trying...plus the sauce to go with them sounds so good!

Leslie said...

This is delicious - thank you! I found I wanted to double the sauce for all the falafels this makes. So good!