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Savory Red Lentil and Garbanzo Cakes

In the mood for something tasty yet unusual?  Staring at those pantry items and stumped about what to make? Somewhat like a falafel (but not fried), these delicious patties are inexpensive to prepare and form the basis for a quick lunch or an elegant dinner.  We love the fact that they use two core food storage ingredients — garbanzos and lentils — too.

Try the cakes served over a light and spicy tomato chutney or with some cilantro, lemon and sesame almond pesto.  Once frozen, they can easily be reheated or eaten at room temperature on a toasted bun with condiments of your choice. Or try with a sauce over rice with some green veggies for a hearty dinner or eat with a salad and pita bread. Enjoy.

Savory Red Lentil and Garbanzo Cakes


  • 1 1/2 cup split red lentils (3 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon berbere spice powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tablespoon dried)
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup organic bread crumbs
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea) flour
  • Olive oil (for wetting hands)


  1. Chop the Veggies:  Chop the celery, onion red bell pepper, parsley and garlic separately and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Cook the Lentils:  Place 1 ½ cups split red lentils in a pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water.  Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer for about 25 minutes, until soft.  Lightly drain excess water but lentils should not be too dry.  Reserve any excess cooking liquid in case the mixture becomes too firm.
  3. Add cooked lentils to the bowl with the veggies.
  4. Mash the chickpeas:  Add the chickpeas to the food processor and process until they form a thick paste.  Transfer to large bowl with other ingredients.
  5. Stir in the spices:  Mix in spices, breadcrumbs and besan (chickpea) flour and adjust flavors.  If you do not have besan flour, you can also add more breadcrumbs to thicken.  If mixture is too firm, add some of the lentil cooking water.
  6. Form the Cakes: The mixture should be thick enough to form patties.  If too thin, add more bread crumbs and/or besan flout.  Using oiled hands, form into 3-4” patties about ½” thick and place on parchment paper.
  7. Bake the Cakes:  Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, turn and bake another 15 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately with sauce or chutney of your choice or just a squeeze of lime.

Makes about one dozen. 

 Freezes well.