These lentil veggie burgers were the creative baby of 5 beautifully relaxing days spent in the crisp country air of Salento, Colombia. This was the first place in our South American travels where I found a decent selection of spices at the supermarket. Turmeric and cumin are spices I use often at home and seeing them here sparked colourful memories of Southern India – the smells, the sounds, the feeling and most of all, the creative choreography of vegetables, pulses and spices on show in so many incredible dishes.
I love Colombian food, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had some amazing dishes and cannot complement the overwhelming hospitality and culture around eating enough. But I do miss vegetables…
These lentil veggie burgers are made up of what I found in that tiny town’s supermarket. Basic veggies, canned lentils, a few spices and a few necessities I carry with me in my backpack (LSA, quinoa and GF flours, I’m strange I know).
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 brown onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup grated carrot, packed tightly
1 cup grated zucchini, packed tightly
1 cup mushrooms, chopped roughly
1 can brown lentils, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons each of turmeric, ground cumin, cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons LSA (depending)
2 tablespoons quinoa flour (depending)
Salt and pepper
Put the quinoa in a small pot with 2 cups of water and leave to boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and pop the lid on. Once all the water has absorbed, turn the heat off and set aside to cool.
In some olive or coconut oil, sauté the onion until it starts to colour. Add the garlic and spices and stir for a minute or so. Add the carrot, zucchini and mushrooms, stirring to make sure the onion and garlic don’t catch on the bottom. Allow to cook down over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add the lentils, cooked quinoa, 1/2 the LSA, 1/2 the quinoa flour and tamari. If the mix is too wet, add more of the LSA or flour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once cool enough to handle, take about a handful of the mix and press into a compact little patty. Try to make the patties the same size and thickness so they cook evenly. If you have the time, I find it works best to make up all the patties in advance. Just place them on a baking tray and into the fridge to set. When you’re ready to eat, heat a little coconut oil in a pan and cook the patties a few at a time, trying not to overcrowd the pan.
Serve as you wish! I like mine in a stack, layered with ox heart tomatoes (my favourite!), cucumber, lettuce and my easy-as Chilli Chia Jam.