Spiced Lentil and Pea Vol Au Vents
These spiced lentil and pea vol au vents make excellent canapes for dinner parties. There are a host of great flavours and textures, all which come together perfectly in the flaky vol au vent casing. There’s bite and substance from the lentils, pops of sweetness from the petit pois, freshness and crunch from the coriander and onions, warmth from the garam masala, mustard and coriander seeds, heat from the fresh chillies and all this is balanced perfectly with acidy from the lemon juice. The mixture sings all the typical Guajarati flavours, sweet, sour and spicy. So good!
The filling is inspired from my mums kachori’s which I’ve grown up eating and I’m not ashamed to say that at any one time I could easily knock 10-15!
Kachori’s are a popular Gujarati snack/ starter, usually filled with spiced peas or lentils. My mum always made them with spiced lentils but I like to combine the two for a slight twist. The filling is usually wrapped in a pastry made with flour, water, oil and salt and takes the shape of small golf balls. The balls are then fried off until crispy and golden. I am a huge believer in keeping the original recipes alive but sometimes time doesn’t permit so using vol au vents in this recipe is a great timesaver and works beautifully.
I like to serve mine with a red chutney and usually for a dinner party I drop a few small dollops onto each vol au vent for efficiency. It looks great and means my guests aren’t falling over themselves trying to get a dip of the chutney!
- • 1 cup mung daal soaked in boiled salted water overnight
- • 1 tbsp veg oil or sunflower oil
- • ¾ tbsp mustard and coriander seeds
- • 1/3 cup frozen petit pois
- • ½ tbsp salt
- • ½ tbsp sugar
- • Juice of 1 ½ lemons
- • 1 white onion, finely chopped
- • large handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- • 4 green chillies, finely chopped
- • ½ tbsp. garam masala
- • 20 vol au vents
- • Dairy free milk to brush vol au vents with
- Drain the soaked mung daal.
- Heat oil on medium heat.
- Add mustard and coriander seeds.
- Once the seeds start popping add the daal, petit pois, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Mix well, bring the heat down to medium low and cover. Leave for approx. 20mins, stirring occasionally and checking the mixture has not dried up. The daal will absorb the moisture from the petit pois and lemon juice as it cooks and softens, whilst also taking in the flavour from the salt and sugar. Avoid lifting the lid too often as we want to keep as much moisture in the pan to help cook the daal. If at any point the mixture appears to dry, add a few sploshes of water.
- Remove from heat once the lentils are cooked through, we are not looking for a mush here, the lentils only need to be cooked through, they should still have some bite.
- Leave the mixture to rest for 5 minutes, then add the raw onions, coriander, chillies and garam masala. Mix well and it is ready for filling the cooked vol au vents.
- I like to pre-cook my vol au vents (brushed with dairy free milk before baking to stop them from burning and becoming dry in the oven). Then just before serving, I warm up the mixture, fill my vol au vent cases and then give them 5mins in a pre-heated oven to warm through.