Veggie burgers are one of my favorite things ever.
I just love the endless possibilities for flavor combinations and their versatility. You can eat them with a bun, with out a bun, hot, cold, crumbled on salad, stuffed in a tortilla, smothered in ketchup, or crumbled over rice/quinoa/polenta, etc. The best part is doubling the recipe takes hardly any extra time and then you have a stocked fridge for quick meals and lunches. Or, you can freeze the leftovers.
I could go on but let’s just get to it.
I commonly find myself in flavor ruts.
Well, not really ruts, but maybe “flavor overuse.” The most typical overused flavors in my kitchen are Italian + Mexican seasonings. I always feel like Asian + Indian flavors are a bit harder to nail, so when I do cook with them I like to keep things very simple.
A year or so ago I discovered garam masala and fell in love. A little goes a long way with its warm but potent flavor profile. This spice mix can vary but typically includes things like coriander, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and cardamom. It can be quite spicy depending on the brand.
Mixing garam masala with curry is a definite favorite combination of mine and it works well to season the rice and hearty lentils in this veggie burger.
I highly recommend adding roasted red pepper + goat cheese on top.
And sandwiching it in between homemade, no-rise flat bread.
Curry Spiced Lentil Rice Veggie Burger gluten-free, vegan // yields ~8 medium patties
- 1 cup green or black lentils, cooked
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons short grain brown rice, cooked
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- scant 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup partially ground gluten-free rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- oil for cooking
toppings: roasted red pepper, goat cheese, cashew cream sauce, avocado, etc.
- Place the garlic clove in your food processor and turn on for a few seconds until minced.
- Add the onion, carrots, and pepper, then pulse about 10-15 times until everything is diced close to uniform in size. Scrape the sides of the bowl 1-2 times. Do not puree. Refer to photo 1.
- Rinse, drain, and pat the lentils dry with a kitchen towel. Do not skip or burgers may fall apart.
- Add the lentils, brown rice, tahini, and spices to the bowl of the food processor.
- Pulse about 15-20 times until everything is ground to about the size of a grain of rice. Scrape the sides of the bowl 1-2 times and pulse again if needed. Refer to photo 1.
- Empty the mixture into a large bowl and mix in 1/4 cup ground oats and sunflower seeds.
- Add more oats, if needed, until a patty is easily formed. You want a fairly moist mixture but not watery or dry. I used 1/3 cup ground oats.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat with a thin coating of oil.
- Form a ball then gently press into a patty [about 3-4-inch diameter and 1/4-1/2"-inch thick] helping form/compress the outside edges by cupping your hand around the burger.
- Place in the hot pan and cook for 4-6 minutes per side until golden brown. Carefully flip with a large metal spatula and cook the other side until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan or burgers will be hard to flip.
- Let cool slightly then serve with whatever toppings you choose.
notes/substitutions: Unsalted sunflower seed butter or almond butter can be subbed for the tahini. Partially ground oats can easily be made by grinding rolled oats about halfway to flour. This can be done in a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder.
This was the day I was also working on the flat bread and naan recipes.
Completely worth it.
Hope you had a lovely weekend with a little relaxation thrown in!