Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brown Rice and Lentil Cutlets

Leftover rice can sometimes provide a bit of a challenge to me. Sufficient quantities of rice quickly get turned into a rice dish and consumed. But if there is very little leftover it cannot be used in rice dishes and I have to rack my brains trying to figure out what else I can make with it to use it up. Sometimes I use up the rice by making muthias, but this time around, I came up with the idea of making some cutlets with leftover rice.

I added some lentils and vegetables to make it more nutritive. I was a bit wary that the rice would stand out in the cutlet especially because I used brown rice. But surprisingly the ingredients blended together amazingly well, the rice did not stand out at all. We enjoyed these cutlets as a snack and equally enjoyed the cutlets stuffed in a sandwich. If you have been wanting to start using brown rice in your diet, this cutlet could be a great place to start.......


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Ingredients and Method to make Brown Rice and Lentil cutlets

2 cups mixed vegetables ( I used a combination of carrots, peas, beans and corn)
1/2 cup split red lentil (masoor dhal) (see notes for substitutions)
3 cups pre cooked brown rice ( I used brown basmati)
1 cup loosely packed whole wheat bread crumbs (can be substituted with any other kind of bread)

1/2 tsp red chili powder (or cayenne pepper) (or to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
3/4 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
1/2 tsp garam masala (or any other curry powder)
2 pinches dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi ) (optional)
salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste) (optional)
A few drops of oil to shallow fry the cutlets

Cook the vegetables in the microwave or the stove top, only adding water as required, until the veggies become soft but not mushy, keep aside.
Cook the lentils on the stove top or in the microwave, only adding water as required until the lentils are cooked and mushy.
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Place a medium/ large pan on heat. Add cooked vegetables, all the spices, salt to taste and mix well. Add precooked rice and lentils and mix well.
Add breadcrumbs and mix well. When the bread crumb is added it will make the entire mixture a little thick and firm. Add more breadcrumbs if required, I did not need any more this quantity worked perfectly.

Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature, then shape into cutlets. Heat a flat pan/griddle/tawa and place a few cutlets on it, add a few drops of oil and allow the cutlets to cook for a few seconds. When the lower side turns golden brown, flip over and cook the other side. When the other side is golden brown as well, remove and serve hot with ketchup/sauce as an appetizer or snack, or stuff in a sandwich or use in a burger or even serve it with some hearty soup to make a complete meal.
Yield will depend on the size and thickness of each cutlets.

Red lentil can be substituted with split pigeon peas (tur dhal) or split mung bean lentil (moong dhal). The reason I chose red lentils was because it cooks really fast.
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