Lentil Croquettes

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes.
Serves 4


  • 225g (8oz) split red lentils
  • 425ml (15fl oz) water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • wholemeal flour, for coating
  • olive oil, for shallow-frying

A classic recipe, as fresh and delicious today as it was when the first edition of the book was published in 1985, and still one of my favourites.
Place the lentils and water in a medium-sized saucepan and cook them for 20–30 minutes or until the lentils are pale and soft and all the water has been absorbed. A non-stick saucepan is best if possible, to avoid sticking.

Fry the onion in the oil for about 10 minutes or until it’s soft, then add to the lentils, together with the lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Mix it all together well, then form it into eight croquettes and coat each one with flour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the croquettes until they’re crisp, then drain them on kitchen paper and keep warm.

Alternatively, place the croquettes on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 30–40 minutes at 200oC, 400oF, Gas Mark 6, turning them over halfway through to brown both sides evenly.

For a crisper coating, instead of using flour, dip the croquettes into a mixture of 6 tbsp cornflour and 6–7 tbsp cold water, then dip into 8 tbsp dried breadcrumbs until completely coated in crumbs. Press them gently back into shape if necessary and fry or bake as above.