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Growing up in Sri Lankan, "Dal Vada" or Lentil Fritters were a popular snack in our home. My mom used to soak and grind up lentils along with a whole slew of spices and green chilies. She would then form them into little discs and fry them. Today, I figured I would attempt to make a baked version of my mom's dal vada! And, instead of green chilies, I added in California Black Ripe Olives for extra flavor!
Now, these baked fritters contain ground up oats. But, when my mom used to make these, it always blew my mind how soaked and ground up lentils can be formed into pretty much any shape and fried - without any eggs or flour to bind them! Even when chopped up onions are added to the mix!
For these fritters, I ground up ginger and garlic along with the lentils and cumin to distribute their flavor throughout each fritter. The chopped up onion and olives so enhanced the flavor and texture of these baked fritters that my mom gave them a thumbs up, even though they were not fried!
These Baked Olive Lentil Fritters are a fusion of Sri Lankan and Mediterranean cuisines. California Black Ripe Olives are so versatile and are cholesterol free - containing monounsaturated fat (the good fat) and no trans fat (the bad fat). I adore black olives for their unique flavor, texture and color. And, the fact that they contain .25 mg of vitamin E, .49 mg of iron, 60 IU of vitamin A and 0.5 grams of fiber per serving makes them the icing on the cake, or should I say the olives in the dal vada!
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