It’s no secret that I love potatoes. Who doesn’t? And they make a swell burger too. But the veggie burgers my sister used to (have to) eat in the Union cafetaria were not made from potatoes alone. They had many grains and other indescribable things in it. I can’t describe them because I never ate those – there were perfectly good real burgers for me.
But in a family that is 50% vegetarian, real burgers pose a problem. Though the potato based vegetarian burgers I make are a perfectly tasty option that we all love, I was looking for a more meaty texture. After looking at Nandita’s burgers, I decided to finally give lentil burgers a try.
As happens on many evenings, I was changing dinner plans again. I already had red lentils soaking (not to make burgers), but black eyes peas sounded good too. I went ahead and soaked some of those as well. This was going to make a lot of burgers 🙂 . So much for planning.
While mixing it all together I added a little bit of this, and a pinch of that. The result was a great looking burger that was much appreciated. Lentil burgers tend to be on the dry side though, so smothering with ketchup is quite okay. Which it is not if you are having a good beef or mutton burger.
1 C sabut masur chilka (whole un-skinned red lentils)
1 C lobhia (black eyed peas)
1 medium onion, chopped fine, practically minced
1 T ginger, grated
1 C chopped coriander
1 T green chillies, minced
1 ½ t Baharat (or ¾ t garam masala)
to serve: burger buns, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, chopped cabbages or lettuce leaves, pickles, ketchup, mustard, chutneys…
Soak the lentils in water for an hour. Cook in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes with enough water to just cover them, or in a pan till tender. Drain any excess water. Turn out into a large mixing bowl or a paraat (a large deep platter, used for kneading daily dough), if you are doubling or tripling the recipe, like I was. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Shape into fat patties of desired size. Pan fry the patties using just a little oil, till browned on both sides.
Slice and toast sesame buns lightly (I used a ridged cast iron pan to toast mine), and place a burger between the sliced baps. Top with sliced tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and chopped cabbage or lettuce leaves, and condiments of your choice.
The spicing is up to you and open to experimentation. These might take well to the addition of some vegetables as well which could provide the much needed moisture.
The lone teen in the family didn’t like these much but then when you are that age it is natural to dislike anything that has a ‘healthy’ tag attached. So go ahead and make these and see for yourself. These would be great stuffed into pita pockets – excellent susbtitute for fried falafel, and topped with some crisp salad vegetables, and a yoghurt sauce. Or you could also serve them on their own, as a variation of the tikki, with a coriander or mint chutney. Which is what I did with the other half.
And you wouldn’t mind if I served it up with pictures of some more beautiful flowers as I very Slowly Sizzle into Summer with S for the Flower Fest? Flower Fest is the is the brainchild of Priya of From Nature to Me and Sree.
Stonecrop species love to grow on stony slopes, around well-watered areas. This cluster was found near the Bheem Pul, a natural stone bridge carved by water and ice.