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Lentil Tamarind Barbecue Burgers with Chickpea Fries (gluten free)

Author - Gena Hamshaw


Shiitake Lentil Walnut Burgers

  • 1 1/2 cups cups dry brown lentils or 2 cans cooked lentils
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms about 2 heaping cups
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes hydrated in hot water for at least 10 minutes and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Black pepper

Tamarind Barbecue Sauce (Makes 1 Cup)

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • Black pepper

Chickpea Fries (makes 6-8 servings)

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • Olive oil


  • To make the barbecue sauce, whisk all sauce ingredients except for the pepper together. Check the seasoning and add additional pepper as needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To make the burgers, pick through the lentils to find any pieces of debris or grit. Rinse the lentils under cold, running water. Add them to a medium sized pot along with the water. Bring the lentils to a boil and reduce them to a simmer. Simmer them for 20 minutes, or until they're entirely tender but not yet mushy (check them at the 15 minute mark for consistency). Drain the lentils, set them aside, and allow them to cool to room temperature. Alternately, you can use 2 cans of cooked lentils (about 3 cups total) in this recipe.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion. Season the onion and cook it for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the mushroom and cook them for another 4-5 minutes, or until they've rendered all of their liquid and are soft and reduced in size. Add the sun dried tomatoes and garlic. Sautee for another minute, or until the garlic is quite fragrant. Add a few splashes of broth as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Add the paprika, chili powder, thyme, oregano, and 2 cups of the cooked lentils. Stir all of the ingredients together until the lentils are warm and the spices are evenly incorporated. Remove the ingredients from heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the walnuts and oats in a food processor fitted with the S blade along with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse until both the oats and nuts have been ground into a course meal. Add the hot lentil mixture and pulse a few times, just enough to break the lentils and mushrooms down, but not enough to create puree.
  • Turn the lentil mixture out into a mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix in the breadcrumbs and the remaining cup of cooked lentils. Check the mixture for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste. The mixture should have a thick consistency, similar to conventional uncooked burgers. If it's too sticky, add a few tablespoons of water.
  • Shape the mixture into 8 burgers. Place the burgers on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops with a layer of tamarind barbecue sauce (recipe below). Bake the burgers for 15 minutes. Flip the burgers and brush the bottom side with barbecue sauce. Continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until each side of the burger is crispy. Serve on a whole grain or sprouted burger bun, a whole wheat or gluten free English muffin, or between a few crisp lettuce leaves, topped with additional tamarind barbecue sauce.
  • To make the chickpea fries, Place the chickpea flour, water, salt, cumin, and garlic into a blender. Blend till smooth.
  • Add the chickpea mixture into a medium or large sized pot. Heat over a medium flame, stirring constantly. The mixture will quickly begin to thicken, so watch it carefully and whisk constantly. After about 10 minutes, the mixture will be very thick. Trade your whisk for a spoon and beat it continuously as you stir in the parsley.
  • Quickly transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use an inverted spatula to smooth it over evenly. Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for for one hour to chill.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the sheet of chickpea dough into strips that are approximately 3/4" wide and 3" long. (If the parchment tears as you cut them, replace the parchment beneath the fries.) Brush the fries with oil.
  • Bake the fries for 15 minutes. Flip them gently and brush the underside with oil. Transfer them back to the oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes, or until both sides are golden. Serve, with delightfully green tahini dressing if desired.