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Vegan Lentil and Hemp Seed Meatballs in Hemp Seed Curry

Vegan Lentil and Hemp Seed Meatballs in Hemp Seed Curry

15 September 2023

On Sustainable Gastronomy Day, the Crop Trust linked up with its partners from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT to cook up a menu of dishes based on beans and millets. 


Vegan Lentil and Hemp Seed Meatballs:

1 cup cooked red lentils, drained well

1/2 cup cooked millets

3 tablespoons tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon ground pumpkin seeds

2-3 tablespoons hulled/shelled hemp seeds

1 tablespoon gram flour (besan)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

1/2-3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Hemp Curry:

200 grams Hemp seed

60 ml Mustard oil

5 grams Jakhia seeds

20 grams Ginger

15 grams Garlic

5 grams Green chili

300 grams Onion

200 grams Tomato

20 grams Yellow Chili

10 grams Cumin powder

Salt to taste


Vegan Lentil and Hemp Seed Meatballs:

Combine all ingredients except bread crumbs in a food processor, pulse 6-8 times until combined. Don't overmix. Add the breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl. Use a spoon to scoop out the bean mixture and use your hand to mold into a ball. You can't really roll them in your hand, instead gently shape them. Then, coat the bean balls by gently pressing them in the bread crumbs. 

Put the vegan meatballs in the hemp seed curry and allow them to cook for 20 minutes.

Hemp Seed Curry:

Soak the hemp in water for 1 hour. Then puree and strain using a fine sieve. Using a mortar and pestle smash ginger, garlic, green chili, onion and tomato. Keep in separate bowls.

In a pan heat oil, then add jakhia. Then, add the ginger, garlic, and green chili and let it cook.

Once golden brown, add the onion and cook. Add a pinch of salt. Add the tomatoes. 

Once they leave oil add the dry spices and allow them to cook. 

Finally add the hemp paste to the cooking meatballs by passing it through a fine sieve. Cook for 15 minutes. Check seasoning. Serve. 

Fun fact about chillies: While chilli peppers are a great way to add some zing to a diet, they are also a high-value crop that provides livelihoods to many smallholder farmers and  a hotly traded commodity around the world. Just last week, the World Vegetable Center sent 22 boxes to be deposited on the shelves of the Global Svalbard Seed Vault. Among the 178 vegetable crops included in their shipment, the top five in terms of quantity were chilli peppers, tomatoes, soybeans, green gram, and black gram. 

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