Lentil Burgers with Tamarind Sauce

I learned of two beautiful birds that are unique to my land: the Squirrel Cuckoo – with the long beautiful chestnut skin and the end of the tail patterned, and the Fasciated Wren. I saw both of them, in pairs, on my land, before going to have soup at the Vegetarian Restaurant here in town. Sylvia is the owner, a Shaman, beautiful, beautiful woman. And her husband, Carlos helps her with the ceremonies by keeping the fire lit all night. Anyway, when he came in, he said, twice,”Dorothy, whenever you need lunch, you come in here and don’t worry if you don’t have the money. You just pay us back when you can.” What? it made me cry, the way he said it. And he repeated it when I left.

Here are Sylvia’s classic Lentil Burgers with Tamarind Sauce.

Recipe of the Day – Lentil Burgers with Tamarind Sauce


2 c. cooked lentils (1 cup dry)

1 c. shredded carrots

1 c. finely chopped yellow onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

1/2 c. finely chopped sunflower seeds

1/4 c. flax seeds

1/4 c. oats

1 cup whole grain or gluten-free bread crumbs

2 whole eggs, beaten

2 T.  tomato paste

2 T. Bragg’s, soy or vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 T. fresh thyme

2 T. oregano

1 tsp. paprika

salt & pepper to taste

suggested toppings: tamarind sauce, pickles, red onion, tomato, mayo, ketchup, mustard, sriracha


  1. Using a food processor, finely chop the onion, carrots, garlic, walnuts and sunflower seeds then transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the cooked lentils to the food processor and pulse until they appear slightly pureed, then transfer them to the bowl as well. Don’t let them become mushy.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs, herbs and spices and the flax and stir well.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the tomato paste and the Worcestershire. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with vegetables and lentils and stir together. Sprinkle in the flour a little at a time as you continue to stir. Add more flour as needed to create patties.
  5. Form eight individual patties with your hands, making sure to keep them somewhat flat with rounded edges.
  6. Warm the o oil over medium-heat in a skillet for at least five minutes. Once the skillet is thoroughly heated, cook the burgers on each side for about 5-6 minutes.
  7. Serve on a warm bun with desired toppings.

Tamarind Sauce:


 Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the spices and stir for about 2 minutes.
  1. Stir the water into the pan with the spices , sweetener and tamarind paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the mixture turns a deep brown and is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 20 to 30 minutes. The sauce will be thin, but it will thicken upon cooling.

Word of the Day – ofrecer – to offer

Tip of the Day – You can find her Shaman soup recipe on this blog, as well! Just type in “Shaman soup” in the search engine on the first page.

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