I love burgers. And since I don’t eat meat, i get to experiment with veggie burgers all the time. IMO, veggie burgers are more flavorful and have more variety than the meat variation – which even though meat tastes good (I used to be a carnivore) are very monochromatic in flavor. Forever in quest for a good veggie burger recipe, I had bought this book by Lukas Volger - “Veggie Burger Every Which Way” a while back and had been trying different recipes from it. They have been good experiments. This one though, while it was good, was definitely not a favorite. It tasted like something that would taste good as a falafel rather than a veggie burger. Hmm. That’s an idea. Note to self.
Anyway, here goes. Enjoy.
NOTE: I served the burger with a yogurt based sauce made with Greek style yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, Sambar powder, coriander powder, salt, red chili powder and honey (the recipe was inspired by Lukas Vogel’s recipe albeit in different proportions). The sauce was a hit. Since I winged it though, not sure I can completely replicate it again.
INGREDIENTS (for 6 burger patties)
3/4 cup Green lentils – soaked, cooked and drained
1 bunch kale – stems removed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 medium onion – diced
1 ½ tsp garam masala
1 ½ tsp sambar masala (the recipe called for curry powder)
1/4 tsp red chili powder
2 garlic cloves – minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
1/4 cup almond meal (I found this at Whole Foods)
1. Steam the kale. 5-8 minutes. Cool. Squeeze out as much water as you can and set aside. You’d be surprised how much water there is in a bunch of kale. See the picture below. My bunch of kale was reduced to the size of a lime after steaming and squeezing water out.
2. Steam the sweet potato for 8-10 minutes till it is tender.
3. In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and add onion and the spices (garam masala, sambar powder, red chili powder) and cook until onion is translucent.
4. Add kale and garlic and cook for 2 mins.
5. In a large bowl mash the lentils and sweet potato.
6. Add the kale-onion mixture, egg, cilantro, lime juice and salt (to taste).
7. Shape into patties (about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter).
8. Pan fry the patties till they brown on each side and transfer to a cookie sheet.
9. Stick the patties in a preheated oven at 375F for 15 minutes and you are done. Serve with your favorite fixins’