I’m one week into my organic farming adventure and have somehow managed to cheerfully adopt the vegetarian lifestyle. The food my host prepares is seriously good and animal free. As a life long omnivore, I’ve always considered veggies a side dish. And when it’s the main dish? Well, then I seriously deserve a pat on the back. But alas, at Bobcat Ridge Avocado Farm, we enjoy a major spread of farm to table deliciousness night after night after night. Nancy’s cooking makes me forget that meat ever existed, and our conversations about vegetarianism almost make me want to quit eating meat altogether. Almost.
So, the other day, when Nancy asked Lucie (the other WWOOFer) and me to prepare dinner, I was a little nervous. Like an episode of Chopped, we were given our featured ingredient and the timer was set. By 6 PM, we were to have prepared a feast, with lentils as the piece de resistance. Luckily, this all went down around 8 AM, so we had plenty of time to get cooking.
Since Lucie and I are basically obsessed with grinding our own wheat flour, we decided to try crafting whole wheat samosas. A lofty goal, considering that neither of us had done this before and ordering pizza ‘in case of emergency’ would likely be frowned upon. Nevertheless, we carried on.
We worked on these suckers throughout the day, taking breaks to water our seedlings, pluck Bermuda Grass weeds, and tend to the avocado trees, as per usual. We even cooked our lentils in the sun oven.
Now, this won’t take you all day long as it did for us. We just wanted to ensure that our recipe wasn’t a total flop, so we started early and took our time.
The result was revolutionary. It was a filling, healthy, veggie-friendly meal that made me forget that deep fryers were ever even a thing. Sadly, I was reminded of their existence the next day at the Santa Cruz County Fair. Not so sadly, I discovered that fried artichokes are a genius invention.
The outside of the samosas were crispy and rich, like a spiced pastry. Inside, the lentil mixture was soft and flavorful, with just a little kick. We each had firsts, then seconds, and somehow managed to save some for lunch the next day.
I can’t say I’ll be a vegetarian forever, but it’s recipes like this that remind me that balanced, healthy, and flavorful meals don’t always need to include something that moos, squawks, or gobbles.
Make these Whole Wheat Lentil Samosas for your main dish or as an appetizer, and definitely save some leftovers for lunch the next day. If you can’t help but eat the whole lot, there should be some leftover filling that’ll heat up nicely.
Ingredients (makes 18 small samosas)
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
5 tablespoons unsalted, room temperature butter
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons turmeric
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
¼ cup water
2 cups cooked lentils
1 medium sized potato
1 small white onion (diced)
1 large carrot
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Combine flour, baking soda, turmeric, and salt in a large bowl.
Create a small clearing in the center. Add coconut oil and slices of butter and use your fingers to pinch the mixture together until it forms a crushed graham cracker like consistency.
Add the yogurt and use your hands to form dough into a ball. Add water, if necessary.
Separate dough into 18 small balls. Place on a floured cookie sheet and store in the fridge (covered), for at least an hour, or until you’re ready to prepare the samosas.
Chop potatoes and carrots into small cubes. Steam them for five minutes, or until slightly tender.
Combine lentils, potato, carrot, diced onion, and spices in a mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Remove dough balls from fridge and let sit for a few minutes.
Press and shape each dough ball into a half circle. Use your fingertips to smear water around the edges of the semicircle. Fold in half to form a cone and pinch the sides to seal, leaving the top area open.
Stuff with lentil filling. The dough is strong, and can hold more filling than expected. Pinch the top shut and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Store in fridge until 30 minutes before mealtime.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until dough is firm to the touch. Serve immediately.