Utterly amazing tortillas that are naturally grain-free, oil-free, vegan, and require nothing more than red lentils (plus some tap water and salt). They are also a cinch to make!
Mondays need some “wow.” And do I ever have some!
First, a question: do you have some split red lentils in your pantry?
If yes, and so long as you also have some water and salt in the house, you have everything you need to make my (and, soon to be, your) favorite new recipe: Red Lentil Tortillas.
I am crazy about these tortillas. Their flavor is a cross between a corn and a flour tortilla, which tastes delicious and delectable with any topping or filling (savory or sweet) you can imagine.
They are tender, too. Despite having no added oil, they are very pliable, so bend, fold or roll them for tacos, wraps, roll-ups, enchiladas and more. They are hearty, to boot: these are not crepes posing as tortillas, they pass California and Tex-Mex muster as true tortillas.
Because of the singularity of ingredients (red lentils), these tortillas are naturally:
At the same time, they are very high in fiber (7 grams per tortilla!), high in protein (6.5 grams per tortilla), and offer 10% of your daily iron needs.
As promised, WOW!!!
Now, allow me to share a few visuals for making these super-power tortillas. They are quite easy to prepare, but different from traditional tortilla or crepe recipe methods. I want to make these as easy for you as possible for your first run-through.
First, rinse 1 cup of the lentils under cold water, and then combine with 2 cups of water in a bowl or other container. Loosely cover and let stand, at room temperature, for at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours. (Update: Several readers have informed me that they have left the lentils soaking in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.)
The lentils will get very plump with the absorbed water, and there is still water at the bottom of the bowl (Update: do not worry about how much or how little water remains after soaking; just be sure that you do not drain the lentils.)
Now, add the whole shebang (soaked lentils and remaining water in the bowl) to a blender (preferable) or food processor, along with the salt. Again, do not add more water! Blend on high speed until very smooth (no tiny bumps at all), stopping the blender once or twice to scrape down the sides. The batter should be lslightly fluffy, like so:
It’s time to cook some tortillas!
I used a well-seasoned, cast-iron skillet to make the tortillas; it’s my favorite “non-stick” pan. You can also use another variety of nonstick pan, or make these on a nonstick griddle. You do not need to use nonstick spray, but if you like, add a spritz (or a quick wipe of oil) for peace of mind.
Heat the skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add 1/4 cup of batter to the center of the pan (the recipe yields 2 cups of batter).
The batter is thick, so tilting the pan (as you would with a crepe) is not sufficient for spreading the batter. Instead, use the back of a metal spoon (I used a soup spoon) to spread the batter into a 6-inch circle.
It does not need to be pretty! Also, as you can tell from the photo, there is no need to worry if the batter starts to set up as you are spreading. Not a problem. Simply keep spreading the wet batter into the circle shape, spreading over any set batter, if needed.
Cook the tortilla for about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes until the surface of the tortilla appears dry. Try sliding a spatula underneath the tortilla; once it glides under easily, go ahead and flip! Let the tortilla cook for another minute or so, to brown the other side.
That’s it! Cool the tortillas on a wire rack and repeat with the remaining batter.
I know you are going to love these tortillas every bit as much as I do. Happy eating, everyone, and have a grand Monday!
- 1 cup split or whole red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine the rinsed lentils and water in a medium bowl or other container; loosely cover. Let stand, at room temperature, for at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours.
- Do not drain lentils.
- Add the entire contents of bowl (soaked lentils and remaining water) and salt to a blender or food processor, Blend on HIGH speed until completely smooth (no tiny bumps) stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of container. The batter should look somewhat fluffy. Scrape into a bowl or measuring cup.
- Heat a nonstick skillet (well-seasoned cast iron skillet is ideal), or a nonstick griddle, to medium heat (no hotter).
- Once warm, add ¼ cup of batter to the center of the pan (the recipe yields 2 cups of batter). Using a metal spoon, spread the batter into a 6-inch circle.
- Cook1 to 1-1/2 minutes until surface of tortilla appears dry. Slide a spatula underneath and flip. Cook about 1 minute longer to brown other side. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.
- Repeat with the remaining batter.
Storage: Store the cooled tortillas in a covered container at room temperature for 1 day, the refrigerator for 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 6 months.
Tip: Split red lentils have become widely available in recent years. You can find them in most grocery stores, shelved alongside other dry beans and legumes. They are not expensive, either (about $2.50 for a 1-piound bag, depending on where you live).
Tip: Be sure to use split, not whole red lentils for this recipe. It should not be a problem as split red lentils are far more common (whole red lentils tend to be available in Southeast Asian markets, or, occasionally, in bulk food sections of very well stocked natural foods stores.