Mushroom-lentil Burgers with Indian Spices

I love the way recipes evolve over the years. Once upon a time, I ate a veggie loaf sandwich at a restaurant and wanted to recreate the veggie loaf at home. You can see my effort here. Then, I tasted vegetable biryani, and wanted to recreate that, and made a brown rice and mushroom version. A few weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea to combine the two recipes and make burgers.About half way through combining these ingredients, I looked at the blob of stuff in my pot and thought, “Oh, what the hell was I thinking?” but I kept on with it and it all came together deliciously in the end.

Mushroom-lentil Burgers with Indian Spices

I used mushroom soy sauce to give these a dark color, but any soy sauce will taste fine. I had these with lettuce, chutney and avocado, but the spices are mellow here, so you can serve these with any burger fixings you like. I suggest Texas style: lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced red onion and mustard.

2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, finely diced (about a cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, well chopped
2 dried red chilies
4 green cardamom pods
1-inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup brown rice, preferably basmati
1/2 cup red or green lentils
2 cups water
2/3 cup oatmeal, coarsely pulsed in the blender
2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground to a powder
1/3 cup roasted cashews, ground to a powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 tablespoons mushroom or regular soy sauce
oil for the tops of the patties

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat oil to medium. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chilies, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, bayleaf, brown rice, lentils and water. Bring to a low boil, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Remove the chilies, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. The rice and lentil mixture will be soupy, and if you use red lentils, they will have completely come apart.

Add oatmeal, flax seeds and cashews. Stir in cumin, coriander, garam masala, pepper, cloves and soy sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a large baking sheet. Scoop out burger mixture by rounded 1/3 cups. Drop on the baking sheet and use the bottom of the measuring cup to flatten patties to the size of a burger bun. Brush the tops lightly with oil. Bake for 20-22 minutes, turning over after 10 minutes. Don’t overbake, as you just want these to be firmed up enough to handle, but not too dry on the inside.

Makes 8 burgers.

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One Response

  1. wow! you are indeed very creative! love the briyani insporation! yum!

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