Red Nugget Lentil Burgers

baby red lentils - credit dirt(y) inc & Jacqui Way PhotographyIn celebration of the International Year of Pulses, Simon Bryant (celebrity chef) has kindly provided us with some recipe inspiration on how to cook with lentil burgers!

Makes 10 (obscenely large burgers!)

Burgers

1 kg (starchy, white) potatoes
500 g red nugget lentils
4 tbsp madras curry powder
3 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumb ginger, grated
1 sprig curry leaf
½ bunch spring onions, thinly sliced (use mainly greens)
3 large green chilli (or one if you are scared, none if you are terrified)
4 tbsp ghee
4 free range eggs
2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves chopped
Salt to taste
3 tbsp besan flour to coat finished patties (chickpea flour, available in Indian grocers)

Yogurt tahini and lemon sauce

250 g natural yogurt
100 ml tahini
Juice of 1 big  lemon
2 tbsp ground cumin

Extra stuff

10 burger buns
3 big tomatoes
½ head iceberg lettuce
4 tbsp rice bran/canola/grape seed oil, for frying patties

Method

  1. Pour cold water over lentils in 2 L pot, cover by 5 cm and cooker per packet instructions, or until tender to the bite, skim the nasty stuff off top occasionally, drain and set aside. Discard water.
  2. Meanwhile peel spuds, place in large pot of cold salted water and simmer until soft. Drain, return spuds to pan and place over really low heat for 3 to 4 mins (this will dry spuds out and help make a firm mash that will bind burgers). Get angry and mash potatoes with a mouli/ricer or old fashioned spud smasher. Set aside.
  3. Add ghee to hot pan, fry off onions, pop in curry leaf, add madras powder, garlic, ginger and sauté until onions glassy (you can smell the sweetness of cooked onion and ginger…but if you got punched in the nose as a kid for being too smart at school and you can’t smell a thing…about 5 to 6 mins).
  4. Place the mashed potato, lentils, the bits from the fry pan (above), spring onion, coriander, tamarind, egg and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Get dirt(y) and use your hands (but make sure they are clean!) to bring the mixture together
  5. Divide the mixture into 10 balls. To make patties just squish them into shape and place on grease-proof paper. Chuck in fridge for an hour or so to firm up.
  6. Meanwhile combine all ingredients for sauce with whisk and get all the lettuce, buns and tomato ready; (you know what to do…rip lettuce, slice tomato, cut buns).
  7. Remove patties from fridge, lightly dust in besan flour then fry over a low to medium heat for a few minutes each side in a little hot oil until coloured.Then, well…..you know what to do now…..

This recipe was kindly provided by Simon Bryant and the image is by Jacqui Way Photography.