I am a big fan of spices, curry and making my own patties. So these mixed Lentil Koftas with Tomato Curry Coconut sauce were a joy to make. I use mixed lentils to give a range of textures to the koftas, which are full of flavour from the spices (they could even be eaten on their own in a sandwich without the sauce). The tomato curry is creamy from the coconut milk, with its spices contrasting beautifully with the koftas. These ‘meaty’ lentil koftas with the creamy sauce are the perfect combination.
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Both Louise and I inputted into this recipe – which makes it much more fun! I came up with the original lentil kofta recipe, then Louise decided to use a short cut for the curry sauce. Koftas are made throughout the Middle East and found throughout Indian & Pakistani cooking, both with and without sauce. We particularly love them with curry sauce as the flavours blend so deliciously!
The Curry Sauce
We are both fans of short cuts when you’re time-poor but still want to cook delicious food. However, we try to use healthy shortcuts and products we love. So instead of making the curry sauce to go with the lentil koftas from scratch (which you’ll find in the recipe below), Louise used Honestly Co’s Masala Curry spice mix, with a tin of coconut milk, some onions and peppers. Honestly Co are a small business made up of two skilled sisters of Pakistani origin who wanted to bring the taste of their culture’s food to their customers, without anyone spending hours in the kitchen. They have no artificial ingredients and the flavours will blow you away.
Making and binding the lentil koftas
Lentil koftas are much easier to make than you think. You actually just mix all the ingredients in together! Using your hands is key to make sure everything is combined. I love using my hands in cooking as I feel it connects me more to the food and reminds me of childhood cooking.
The two types of lentils are a great combination, as red lentils are very small and almost become one substance when cooked and ‘smushed’ together. But the green lentils tend to stay whole and help give the koftas a chunkiness. If you don’t have green lentils, other chunker lentils like brown lentils will work just fine.
The lentil koftas are bound with ground chia seeds (affiliate link) which are then mixed with water. Using ground linseed / flaxseed instead will work just fine too. It also helps that chia seed are packed full of protein! We’ve written a whole post on vegan egg substitutes for everything from sweet baking to savoury cooking; check it out here.
The buckwheat flour also helps bind them, and gives them a chewier texture, which is what you want from a lentil kofta. Other flour works too, so just use whatever you have. Buckwheat flour or almond flour are great if you need the dish to be gluten-free. We have loads of delicious gluten-free vegan recipes on our blog which we think you’ll love.
Cooking the lentil koftas
Once you’ve fried or baked the lentil koftas, it’s nice to simmer them in the curry sauce for a few minutes. This adds a lovely extra flavour to them, ensuring they are tender but with a little outside crunch. I like to serve my lentil koftas on rice, with the curry sauce, topped with fresh coriander or parsley. If you want to go the extra mile, serve with vegan raita (vegan yoghurt with mint and cucumber) and some flatbread. Check out Louise’s chickpea flour flatbreads, which are always a winner! So easily elevated to dinner party meal!!
Top tip: double the lentil kofta mixture and put half the mixture in the freezer for another time. This ensures a quick, tasty & easy meal for future you! If you want more of our secrets for easy plant based living, take a look at our Free Guide of Tips and Steps (what we wished we’d known when we first went vegan!).
If you liked our Lentil Kofta recipe, please rate and comment below. This really helps others discover and try our yummy food. Thank you 🙂
These mixed lentil koftas (which are also gluten free) with tomato curry coconut sauce are easy to make. The mixed lentils give a range of textures to the koftas, which are full of flavour from the spices (they could even be eaten on their own in a sandwich without the sauce). The tomato curry is creamy from the coconut, with its spices contrasting beautifully with the koftas. The ‘meaty’ koftas with the creamy sauce are the perfect combination.
- 250 g cooked red lentils (or 1 tin drained red lentils) (1 1/3 cups)
- 250 g cooked green / brown lentils (or 1 tin drained green lentils) (1 1/2 cups)
- 15 g Chopped Coriander (around 1/2 cup or a handful)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 3 tbsp Chia seeds, milled / ground, mixed with 4 tbsp water
- 35 g buckwheat flour (or any other flour will work) (1/4 cup)
- 6 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 tsp pepper
- Some oil for frying (optional)
- 1 Onion, chopped finely
- 1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes or a chopped chilli
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes (or use 12 fresh tomatoes, blended)
- 200 ml coconut milk (half a standard tin or ~1 cup)
- 30 g fresh coriander (1 cup)
- 45 g sultanas (optional) (1/4 cup)
- 3 tsp coconut palm sugar / maple syrup
Put all ingredients, except the oil for frying (if using), in a mixing bowl. Mix well so all ingredients are well and evenly combined. It is best to use your hands to do this.
Put in the fridge for at least an hour to let the mixture firm up.
Mould into oblong kofta-shaped pieces.
Fry in some oil until brown on the outside and cooked all the way through. Or bake on a lightly oiled tray for 25-30 minutes in a 200°C (400°F / Gas Mark 6) oven, or until the koftas have browned.
Simmer in the curry sauce for about 5 minutes so the koftas absorb a little of the sauce but stay browned on top.
In a medium sized pan, fry the onion in some olive oil for a few minutes, then add the cumin, coriander, garam masala, chili, garlic and ginger. Fry for a further few minutes for all the flavours to be released.
Blend the fresh coriander with tomatoes and add to the onion and spices. If you don’t have a blender just add the tinned tomatoes as they are and chop the coriander finely. Add the coconut milk then cook for 5 minutes.
Add the sultanas (if using) and the coconut palm sugar / maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper.