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Curried Red Lentil Burgers

with aromatic spices

Quickly becoming one of my favorite local shops in Melbourne is a Chinese mini market. I just love to peruse the massive shelves teeming with spices and sauces. The market, as it happens, is pan-asian in genre and I have been delighted to find spices such as asafoetida and mango powder both of which are commonly used in Southern India.

The owners are eager to help and enthusiastically show off their wares. I find myself getting swept into a dream-like state imagining the creations that could later ensue in my kitchen.

On one trip to this particular market I was inspired to make lentil burgers and purchased a big bag of dried red lentils and curry powder.

Side note: A curry is not a thing or powder per se but rather a state of being as each curry powder is a unique blend of spices. The typical curry powder includes a blend of roasted and ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and red pepper. Curries vary according to region and tradition. In my case, as a Pitta-Type I chose a milder curry blend (one that would include less red pepper). For Kapha and Vata types, bring on the heat and go for the spicier varieties!

Contrary to what I had once thought, lentil burgers don’t need any bread crumbs, eggs, or yogurt to fill them out or keep their shape. Using only veggies, lentils, and spices you can form a beautiful, healthy, and super tasty veggie burger.

I decided to dress up my burger with avocado and tomato but it would also go well topped with sprouts or snow pea shoots. Or, try it with a generous dollop of tzatziki sauce on top.

Curried Red Lentil Burgers Recipe
1 1/2 cups cooked red lentils, drained
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Heat a fry pan to medium and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the curry and cayenne powders until aromatic. Then add the garlic, onion and carrot. Saute 3-5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the parsley and cook an additional minute.

Turn heat off and stir the lentils and lemon juice into onion and carrot mixture. Shape into patties. Makes 8-12.

Heat remaining oil in the pan on medium heat and fry burgers until they are lightly browned and crispy on both sides. Serve on a toasted pita or a bed of lettuce.

Optional- you can also bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and toasted.

Omit the cayenne pepper and garlic due to the heating qualities of these ingredients
Enjoy in moderation due to the heaviness of the oil.
With love,
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