Beans & Lentil Recipes (Vegan/Gluten Free)

With the rising popularity of vegan & vegetarian food, one of the ingredients that has gained attention is Lentils. I see so many people questioning on how to cook lentils properly, what all different recipes we can make using them & how to include its variations in our everyday diet. In this post we will be majorly answering these queries plus some collection of different recipes.

I am a vegetarian since birth and by vegetarian I mean all plant based diet & moderate dairy consumption in every day diet. People often ask me from where do you get your protein or you must be feeling hungry all the time or meal preparation must be tedious process etc but after this post many will change their opinion. As kids, lentil have been an important part of our meals and we used it in different ways while playing with their taste, texture and flavours. Though chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), kidney beans, Brown chickpeas are beans & not lentils but I am including them as well because they are also a rich source of proteins for vegan or vegetarians. The lentils can be used in various ways:
  • Salad
  • Soups
  • Savoury Crepes/Pancakes
  • Dips/Chutneys
  • Breads
  • Curries
Below I am sharing some recipes with hindi names in brackets and little bit about them to give you an idea. The hindi word for lentils is "Dal".

1. Mixed Lentils Crispy Crepes (Mixed Dal Dosa)

These are protein rich thin crispy crepes made using only lentils. It is a vegan & gluten free recipe. Four-Five Lentils are soaked for 2-3 hours or overnight and then ground to make medium thin batter along with salt, fresh green chillies & ginger. It is then spread thinly & cooked on a non stick pan or griddle till it turns golden brown & crispy. This dosa goes well with coconut chutney or onion-tomato chutney.

2. Split Yellow Gram Steamed Dumplings (Moong Dal Idli)

These gluten free vegan dumplings are made by steaming a batter made up of split small yellow lentil. Small yellow lentils is soaked and then grinded with chillies and ginger to make a thick batter. You can ferment this batter by keeping it for few hours or add fruit salt just before steaming them to get fluffy soft dumplings.

3. Split Chickpeas Dip (Chana Dal Chutney)

This protein rich dip is made using split chickpeas. The roasted chickpea is roasted grinded with coconut and other spices to get flavourful dip. It goes well with above mentioned crepe and dumpling recipe too. It is gluten free & vegan dip recipe.

4. Split Yellow Lentil Salad (Moong Dal Salad)

This refreshing salad is made using split small yellow lentil. It is protein rich, vegan, gluten free and easily digestible. It is one of the easiest lentil recipes and can be prepared in such short time. Often eat in breakfast with a toast or accompanied by a bowl of soup in dinner.

5. Five Lentil Curry (Panchmel Dal)

 This lentil curry is a delicious flavoursome recipe made using five different lentils. If you don't have all five lentils then you can skip one or two but try to stick to the recipe as much as possible for authentic taste. It goes well with Indian breads or Rice. You can adjust spices as per your taste. For making this curry vegan, use cooking oil instead of ghee (clarified butter).

6. Split Skinless Black Lentil FlatBread (Urad Dal Paratha)

This Indian bread recipe was our mom's way of sneaking lentils in our food when we were kids. It is another simple recipe where soaked & grinded split black lentil(urad dal) is added to the flour and kneaded. Using this dough, roti/parathas are made. These days lentil flour is readily available in market which you directly add in your regular flour. This is a vegan recipe and to make it gluten free also use the lentil batter in combination of gluten free flour.

Sprouting whole lentils before using them increases their nutritional value. These sprouts can be added in salads, soups, sandwiches or even inside wraps. You can have them as it is or steam them for 3-4 minutes before consuming. Add any veggies of your choice or salad dressing to it.

8. Brown Chickpeas Kebabs (Kale Chane Ke Kebab)

These delicious gluten free vegetarian kebabs are made using boiled brown chickpeas. The kebas can be pan fired & air fried. For softness & binding Indian Cottage Cheese (paneer) is added, however if you want them vegan you replace it with potato mash or two bread slices. It is perfect option for appetizers or snacks.
This yellow curry is one of the popular Indian recipes made using chickpea flour & thin yoghurt. The mixture is seasoned with few spices & cooked till it gets creamy consistency. As the name suggests, chickpea flour is made using chickpea which makes it more nutritious & high in proteins in addition to other flour. Chickpea Flour is also added in fritter batter for the same reasons. It is a gluten free recipe & can be made vegan too.

10. Creamy Whole Black Lentil Curry (Dal Makhani)

Lentil section would be incomplete without this popular lentil recipe "Dal Makhani" where boiled whole black lentils are slow cooked in aromatic spice mix with cream & butter. This dal is often enjoyed with Naan or Tandoori Roti. You can adjust the quantity of fat in it as per your own taste. The recipe is gluten free & vegan substitute for butter or cream can be used easily.

11. Moong Dal (Lentil) Toast

In this recipes, Moong Dal / small yellow lentil / dehusked & split whole green gram is soaked & grinded to form a creamy consistency batter. Some veggies & spices are then mixed in it. The mixture is then used as spread over toast. These lentil toast can be pan fried or air fried.

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