Curried Lentil Burgers

May 15, 2013

Sometimes I get a craving for Indian food.  Sometimes I get a craving for a good veggie burger.  This is the answer to both.

Curried Lentil Burgers with Red Cabbage Slaw

If you've read the write-up of my Loaded Veggie Quinoa Sliders, then you'll know my feelings on the frozen veggie burger market. It's not that great.  The options are getting better, but the ingredient lists from pre-made burgers are out of hand.
Indian Spiced Lentil Burgers
For this reason, from time to time I find myself thinking about how to build a better veggie burger.

When it comes to lentils, I wish I cooked more with them, but I just don't have enough good lentil recipes that aren't soup.  And there's only so much green lentil soup that one can make.  This was a chance to break out of that rut and try a little something different with an Indian spiced lentil burger.

I'm using two kinds of lentils here.  Green lentils hold up well and give the burgers their textures.  Red lentils tend to fall apart when cooked, but still add flavor and color.  Onion, garlic, ginger and cumin bring the Indian spice.  Finally, spinach (or any other hearty green that you prefer) gives an extra nutritional bonus.

One change I've made here from a traditional veggie burger mix is to use ground-up pretzels instead of bread crumbs.  This is something I picked up from Carolina at The Baking Cup in her recipe for flavorful veggie burgers.   I thought the pretzels gave the finished product more body and character than plain bread crumbs alone.

Overall, I think it's a pretty easy lentil burger recipe.  Grab some small burger buns to make the sandwiches.  Then top each with a red cabbage and carrot salad for some added crunch and to balance the flavors.

See a video of them being prepared at: Healthy Frugal Blog Recipes - Curried Lentil Burgers 

Easy Lentil Pattie Recipe

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Curried Lentil Patties
An Indian spiced veggie burger made with spinach and hearty green lentils
Total time:
  • 1 cup Green Lentils
  • 1/2 cup Red Lentils
  • 1 Medium White Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger (freshly grated)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Pretzels
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seed (toasted & ground)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Spinach
  1. Cook the spinach and press out any excess water
  2. Cook the lentils over medium in a covered saucepan. I use a 2:1 water to lentil ratio, so 3 cups of water or stock. This should take 20-25 minutes
  3. While the lentils are cooking, use a skillet to toast the cumin seeds and then grind them in a mortar & pestle (or use ground cumin)
  4. When they are done, mash them lightly with a potato masher and add the cumin and curry powder
  5. In the same skillet, cook the onion for 5 minutes over medium in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. When it starts to turn translucent, add the garlic & ginger and cook 5 minutes more
  6. In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Allow the onion mix, spinach and the lentils to cool before adding them to the eggs
  7. Once cooled, add the onion mix, then the spinach, then the lentils to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  8. Pulse pretzels in a food processor, mix gradually into the bowl until you have a good burger-like texture
  9. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out handfuls of the mix and form into about 12 patties.
  10. If you have time, place them all on a silpat (or parchment paper) on a sheet pan, covered, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  11. Cook the patties in a skillet over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.

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