We love these lentil patties. I made up the recipe based on some potato cakes I used to make, where the mashed potatoes are mixed with egg, flour and spices and then fried.
The best part is that they’re very satisfying. These patties are a lot like burgers. They’re almost meaty in texture, with a crunchy outside and a softer inside. They even look meaty without using any weird faux meat products. Just all-natural ingredients, easily combined, for a super cheap, delicious main dish.
These lentil patties are great with some barbecue sauce or any sauce, really, and they make good sandwiches. They also go well on top of a salad, added to casseroles after baking and as a substitute for things like meatballs or sausage. I like to break them up into bite-sized bits, making them very “pop”.
- 2-3 cups of cooked lentils
- 1 medium egg per cup of lentils
- Seasonings, whichever you prefer
- Oil for frying
- Add eggs to lentils in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine, then start adding cornmeal. You're looking for the texture to be something like soft drop biscuits. It's a bit wet and sticky, but it'll hold shape for a moment when squished up with the spoon. If it's too wet, add more cornmeal. If it's too dry, add another egg, more cooked lentils or a tiny bit of water.
- Add seasonings as you prefer. I like to give mine a couple of good shakes of garlic powder, pepper and salt, a few pinches of rosemary, some thyme and maybe 1/2 tsp sage. Sometimes I add finely minced onion, onion powder or parsley. They're also really good with Italian seasoning, curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric, or taco seasoning. Try a sausage seasoning blend such as This One if you're going for a more sausage flavour. Don't be too shy with the spices. The natural starchy mild sweetness of lentils and cornmeal can handle quite a bit of added flavour.
- Heat oil in a heavy frying pan. I use a small cast iron pan for these. It doesn't take a ton of oil, gets great heat distribution and retention, and it's easy to clean up. Add around 1/2 inch oil to the pan and put it over medium to medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when you toss a bit of batter in.
- Scoop portions of batter into the oil and flatten slightly into a puck with the back of the spoon. You can use a spoon for this, but it tends to stick to the spoon. I find it's much faster and easier to use a scoop similar to an ice cream scoop. It makes nice, reasonably uniform size and shape patties that cook about the same rate and add to the burger patty look.
- Cook until you see browned edges on the bottom, then flip and brown the other side. Depending on the moisture level and how hot your oil is, it takes a couple of minutes per side. I've never measured the oil temperature; I prefer to keep an eye on the patties and judge by when they're browned and crisp on the outside.
- Remove from pan with a slotted spatula, letting excess oil drip back in the pan. Move to a plate lined in several layers of paper towel to drain.
- Repeat scooping, brown, flip, brown and drain with all remaining batter.