Vegan Recipe: Spicy Indian Frikadels

vegan lamb frikadels

Photo credit: David Paul Shmidt


Indian food is an exercise in balancing spices for maximum flavor, and in these hearty meatless balls, all the spices add up to enticing flavors and aromas. Shredded coconut provides a chewiness that makes them seem meaty, while the added flavor of coconut complements the spices. Recipe by Robin Asbell from the new cookbook: Plant-Based Meats: Hearty, High-Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores

Ingredients, makes 13 balls

Canola oil for greasing
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 large jalapeño pepper, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cups vital wheat gluten
½ cup finely shredded coconut
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1 cup water
¼ cup apple juice
¼ cup tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red miso paste


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Ready a deep roasting pan by lightly greasing it with the canola oil. Tear off a sheet of foil to cover and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the coconut oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring constantly, until it starts to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and sauté for 5 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden. Add the jalapeño pepper and ginger and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, coconut, chili powder, cumin, salt, and turmeric. Stir in the cilantro.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, apple juice, tamari, tomato paste, and miso until well combined. Stir the wet mixture into the mixture in the skillet.

Pour the contents of the skillet over the dry mixture and stir them together until a dough forms. Once the dough becomes thick, knead it with your hands for 3 minutes, or until it is stringy and elastic.

Using a ¼-cup measure, form the dough into balls and roll them between your cupped palms to form ovals. Place them in the prepared roasting pan, making sure they do not touch one another. Cover with the foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Uncover the pan and, using a spatula, turn each of the meatballs over. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven.

Serve hot.

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