La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lentil Burgers in a Bun

I do not shy away from the so-called junk food from certain food outlets at all.  Every once in a blue moon we indulge, but it is certainly not a staple in our daily diet.
But if you make them at home there is generally no restriction to add them on a more regular basis.

These vegetarian babies are the bees knees.  Full of natural goodness and the flavour.... well... you'll just have to make these one day.  You'll know what I'm talking about then.

The recipe gives you 12 generous patties. You can freeze them well, provided you spread them on a tray and freeze for 24 hours before wrapping them in a freezer bag. Then it's just a matter of cooking them from frozen as and when you need them.

So here goes...

  • 500 grs dried green lentils (I use the small ones,  Puy kind)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2.5 cm fresh ginger,grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp garam massala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Water
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, grated
  • bunch of parley an/or coriander, chopped
  • 150 grs wholewheat breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

  • Heat some olive oil in a pan and sautee the onions till transluscent.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, carrots and sautee for a minute or so.
  • In the meantime rince the lentils under cold water.
  • Also add them to the pan. Stir for a minute to coat them with the oil
  • Pour water over so that it reaches about 2 fingers above the lentils.
  • Turn down the heat as soon as it comes to boiling point and leave to simmer gently, with lid on.
  • Check the lentils for doneness and top up with a little boiling water if necessary.  They should still be frim but not hard and the water should all be absorbed and evaporated.
  • Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  • Give it a whizz with a hand held blender, not  completely smooth and with plenty of whole lentils left.
  • Stir in the garam massala, cayenne, lemon zest, parsley, coriander and season.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Stir in the eggs and bread crumbs.
  • Leave it to set for half an hour or so in the fridge.
  • Wet your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking and shape into 12 burgers.

  • Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  • Gently fry the burgers for about 3 minutes on each side and till they are nicely coloured and crisp on the outside.
  • Drain on kitchen paper and serve anyway you like

Serving suggestion
Homemade buns - toasted and smeared with mayonnaise, ribbons of iceberg lettuce, sliced onion, sliced tomato, cheese (I used gouda), slice of red pepper and a dollop of chillie chutney.  I also made for this occasion slender looking fries.

Patricia xxx...x

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