Curried Red Lentil Burgers

I went over to my friend Sarah’s house and she wanted to make veggie burgers.  I have never made veggie burgers and I am trying to expand my horizons, so I went for it.  I don’t think I have ever had red lentils before either so when she told me that was the primary ingredient, I had no idea how they would turn out and if I would like them.

But let me tell you.  These are solid veggie burgers.  The only thing I want to improve on is they did not stay together well.  And originally it said to bake them for 20 minutes.  Next time I will bake them for 20 minutes on each side and then maybe even a little longer still.  The crunchy parts were good.

This is Sarah.  Her roommate made this relish thing a while ago.  That is the red stuff in the jar and on the right side of her plate.  I did not go for that.  But I ate a veggie burger, and truly liked it.  I am proud of myself.

This is me, we both put cheddar cheese on our burgers.  I think a nice spread of some sort would also be great on these.  I don’t know which one yet, but I will investigate.  AND we did not take out the onions.  I ate onions and did not even taste them in the burger.  Crazy!

Curried Red Lentil Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peel ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or basmati
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped cashews or peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Rinse and drain the lentils. Put them in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil, stirring often. Add the turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are very soft and the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. (Red lentils are starchy and can sink to the bottom of the pan.) If there is liquid left, drain the lentils before adding them to the burger mixture.

2. Meanwhile, in a skillet or saucepan on medium heat, cook the onions and garlic in the oil until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the celery and bell peppers and continue to cook for about 7 minutes; if needed to prevent sticking, reduce the heat and cover the pan, or add a splash of water. Add the ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, and remaining salt and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, add the rice, nuts, lemon juice, cilantro, and lentils and mix well.

3. When the burger mixture is cool enough to handle, shape it into 6 patties using a heaping 1/2 cup for each, and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

This recipe is from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health by The Moosewood Collective

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