Monday, March 11, 2013

Curried Lentil, Rice, and Carrot Burgers on a Bed of Sautéed Collard Greens

Hi Friends! Welcome to a wonderful Food Matter’s Project post. This week Evi + Sam, the delightful people behind Fifthfloorkitchen, picked Brown Rice and Lamb Burgers with Spinach.  

Since, there’s zero meat in our refrigerator these days, I wondered what would happen if I used lentils instead. I entered the keywords lentil and rice burgers on Google and found this delicious Curried Lentil, Rice, and Carrot Burgers recipe from The New York Times. After reading the recipe, I was sold!

I didn’t make the original Mark Bittman recipe (it’s close though, kind of). So, if you want to read his recipe, head over to Fifthfloorkitchen. Also, don’t forget to visit the FMP website to see what the other members came up with.
DFJ and I worked on these burger patties together. Well, he actually did the bulk of it after I prepared all the ingredients. I tweaked the recipe a bit to accommodate for ingredient substitutes and still ended up with something so good. These Indian-inspired burger patties will put other veggie burgers to shame! The spices give the burgers so much flavor and all the vegetables in it just go so well together. This recipe calls for lentils to be puréed. The puréed lentils not only binds everything together but also adds a hint of powdery sweetness. The brown rice adds a nice chewiness in every bite.

These burgers are so good, they don’t need the help of hamburger buns, cheese, or tomatoes! I speak only the truth here. However, I encourage you to lay these babies on top of garlicky collard greens. They are perfect together!       

Curried Lentil, Rice, and Carrot Burgers on a Bed of Sautéed Collard Greens
(Makes 8-10 patties)
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe from The New York Times, March 28, 2012

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 mini bell peppers, finely diced
heaping ½ cup purple cabbage, sliced into very small pieces
3/4 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
pinch of cayenne
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 and 1/2 cups cooked yellow lentils, drained
1 egg
canola oil (for frying the burgers)

Make sure you have some cooked brown rice and cooked lentils. I cooked my lentils in homemade vegetable stock which gave it so much good flavor.

In a small bowl, stir together the ginger, cumin, curry, turmeric, mustard seeds, and cayenne. Set aside.

Using a blender, purée the lentils and the egg together until smooth (like hummus). Set aside.  

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the onion, carrot, mini bell peppers, and cabbage for about 4 minutes. Add the spice mixture and stir well to combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and transfer vegetables to a large bowl.

Add pureed lentils into the bowl and sprinkle with two generous pinches of salt and a generous grind of pepper. Stir to combine. Add the rice and mix everything well together.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Get a rimmed cookie sheet handy for easy transfer of the cooked burgers. 

Pour just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of a large nonstick pan. Turn the heat on to medium high and let the oil heat up. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, quickly form the mixture into burger patties, one at a time. The mixture should make about 8-10 patties. Grab a handful of the mixture, quickly form a patty, and carefully drop it in the oil. It will be very sticky so don’t worry about getting a perfect patty. Gently flip after 2-3 minutes of cooking, or until it turns into a nice brown color, you are the best judge for this. The patties are delicate, take some care when you flip them so they don’t fall apart. When both sides are crispy, move them to the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Serve the lentil and rice burgers over a bed of sautéed collard greens. These burgers are delicious with ketchup and Sriracha or chutney!

Sautéed Collard Greens

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch collard greens, rinsed and cut into thin ribbons (no need to pat dry)
salt and freshly ground pepper

While the burger patties are in the oven, cook the collard greens. Pour out the excess oil from the pan you used to fry the burgers and leave about a tablespoon, just enough to cook the greens. Heat the oil over medium heat and once it’s hot but not smoking, sauté the garlic until golden brown. Add the collard greens and season with a generous pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Let cook for 6-7 minutes or until the greens are wilted, stirring often. Turn the heat off and move the collard greens to a plate. Top with the lentil and rice burgers.


  1. Wow these sound like they have a TON of flavor! I love stumbling upon new bean burgers to try!

  2. Love that you used the lentils, what a great way to use a kitchen staple. I'm going to have to keep this in mind when we have friends visiting, I haven't made bean or lentil burgers in a long time!

  3. I don't think I have ever had lentil burgers...sounds great!

  4. Those patties are simply irresistible Margarita! Totally my kind of meal!


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