Lentil and Sweet Corn Cakes with Cilantro-Yogurt Drizzle

Lentil and Sweet Corn Cakes with Cilantro Yogurt Drizzle

OK, it is still hot, but these just require a little stove-top sizzle so they almost don’t count as cooking.  I am a big fan of lentils and think they are highly underutilized in the U.S., as most people stick with basic lentil soup or avoid them all together.  Lentils cook quickly, taste a little smokey and a bit nutty, and serve as a great source of protein, iron, and fiber.  For this dish I combined cooked brown lentils with garbanzo flour (optional but recommended) and fresh sweet corn to make some savory pancakes.  If you have lentil-haters in your family, you should try these, as they are well hidden in the batter and the sweet corn is the textural focus.

For the drizzle I simply pulled the leaves from a large bunch of cilantro and blended it with a cup of plain yogurt and a pinch of salt.  If you want a thicker sauce, use Greek yogurt or sour cream.  If you are a cilantro hater (I used to be, but now I love the stuff), just use basil or parsley or chives instead.  I like to have this sauce on hand during the summer, as it is fantastic drizzled over grilled vegetables, fish, or sliced cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden.

The addition of the fresh sweet corn add texture and sweet little bursts of flavor to the cakes, and sweet corn is in peak season.  To remove the kernels from the cob, just prop up the corn on its thicker end in a deep bowl and carefully scrape the kernels off with a knife.  Here is the recipe:

Lentil Sweet Corn Cakes
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils, drained and cooled
1 cup garbanzo flour (or all purpose flour)
2 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Kernels from two ears of sweet corn

In a food processor or blender, pulse all ingredients except the sweet corn until you have a slightly chunky batter.  Spoon the batter into a mixing bowl and stir in the sweet corn kernels.

Spray a 12-inch skillet with cooking spray to coat (or lightly coat with olive oil), and heat over medium high.  Use a third-cup measure to scoop out batter and pour into rounds on the hot skillet.  Cook until lightly browned on each side, and repeat with remaining batter.  Serve hot with the cilantro yogurt, if desired.  This makes about twelve cakes.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. What a great idea. I don't normally even think of savory pancakes and I don't know. I read what you wrote and started salivating. I love lentils in any form think this would be awesome. Although, I'll admit that I'm one of those that's not overly fond of cilantro so I'd have to go with basil. 🙂

  2. I really did hate cilantro and for some reason I got used to it bit by bit and now I love it–have no clue why, but I know you are not alone!

  3. Made these tonight for company. Terrific!

  4. Doug, yay! Glad you made them and people liked them (at least I hope they did 🙂

  5. oohh.. I'm very interested in that cilantro-yogurt drizzle. I'd be very tempted to use the Greek yogurt… argh. now I'm hungry again 🙁

  6. Odd how some people react to cilantro. I know a few who like to inhale a bunch of cilantro as if it was a bouquet of flowers, but I also know someone who has to hold her breath until she is past the produce section because the smell of cilantro makes her sick! I have loved cilantro ever since my Chinese daughter-in-law introduced it to me, but I have to confess that I can’t smell it much, even though I can pick up other food odors easily. This surprises people who claim you can’t miss the sweet smell of cilantro (except for the woman who has to hold her breath to escape it). Looking forward to trying these pancakes.

    1. It is one of those things that elicits really strong reactions from lovers and haters! I really love it now, and I do find it pretty strongly scented, but I would not eat it for years.

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