These little morsels may be on the diminutive side, but they
punch well above their weight in the flavour stakes. If you wanted
to make them gluten-free, you could substitute the flour with teff
1 ½ tbsp olive oil½ onion, finely diced2 garlic cloves, finely chopped2 tsp coarsely crushed coriander seeds2 tsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds200 gm (1 cup) red lentils2 eggs, separated100 gm self-raising flourFinely grated rind of 1 lemon, plus lemon halves to serveVegetable oil, for shallow-fryingGreen yoghurt½ cup (firmly packed) coriander1/3 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped1 long green chilli, coarsely chopped½ tsp ground cumin¼ tsp ground cardamom70 ml olive oilJuice of 1 lemon250 gm thick plain yoghurt
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Stir in spices and fry until fragrant (30 seconds), then add lentils and 650ml water, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, for green yoghurt, process herbs, garlic, chilli, spices and 2 tbsp cold water in a small blender to coarsely chop, add olive oil and lemon juice and process to a fine purée. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste, swirl in yoghurt and set aside.
Stir egg yolks into lentils, then stir in flour and lemon rind and season generously to taste. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl to firm peaks and fold into lentil mixture.
Preheat oven to 180C and heat 3cm oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add heaped tablespoonfuls of lentil mixture in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven while you cook remaining fritters. Serve hot with green yoghurt and lemon halves.