Indian food rarely lacks for flavor. Packed with exotic spices and chutneys, the dishes brim with colors and culinary delights. This dish is no different. And better yet, this dish won’t send you scurrying to exotic markets or stores; all of the ingredients are staples of most pantries and refrigerators.
A vegetarian and Indian take on the classic American burger, this Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burger packs a healthy punch. Sandwich it between two toasted buns and adorn with a little mayonnaise, and this vegetarian burger is bound to please. Serve alongside roasted sweet potato fries or, for the sake of regional consistency, prepare a side of Aloo Gobhi Masala.
A word of warning: this recipe can be a little time intensive, as it requires cooking both the lentils and the rice in advance. Of course, there’s no harm in prepping the rice and lentils the day before. Have those items ready before hand, and this dish comes together before you know it!
Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burgers
PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
YIELD: 6 burgers
WHAT TO GRAB: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/3 cup finely diced onion 1 cup finely diced carrots 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced or finely chopped 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon curry powder 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds Pinch of cayenne Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste 1 cup cooked brown rice 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils, drained 1 egg
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium heat in a heavy ovenproof skillet (I used a cast iron skillet). Add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until just about tender, about 3 minutes, and add the mushrooms, ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry powder, mustard seeds and cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant and the spices aromatic. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the rice to the bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, purée the lentils. Add the lentils to the vegetable and rice mixture. Add the egg. Stir together, season with salt and pepper, and shape into 6 patties.
3. Heat the ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and, working in batches if necessary, cook the patties for 2 minutes on one side, or until nicely browned. Carefully turn the patties over. You may need to re-shape them a little once you have turned them (they are still likely to fall apart a little at this point). Cook for one minute, and then place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the patties are lightly browned and no longer falling apart.
4. Remove from the heat and serve, with or without buns, chutney or mayonnaise and the works!