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What Are Lentil Patties?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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Lentil patties are a form of crushed lentils and other ingredients, made into a flat, round shape. These often provide a vegetarian alternative to hamburgers or other meat patties. As a protein-rich food, the lentil lends itself to this kind of use, and the texture that results from cooking lentils is useful in providing the dense texture of the final presentation. In general, lentils appeal to those looking for “whole foods” solutions for meals with a lot of the beneficial nutrition found in natural plant foods, without the high fat, cholesterol, and other potentially unhealthy elements found in meats, cheeses, and processed foods.

In most recipes for lentil patties, the lentils are boiled for a long time in order to soften them. Different varieties of red, brown or green lentils may need to be soaked prior to boiling. After they are sufficiently softened, the lentils are crushed into a kind of paste. The other ingredients are mixed in as needed.

One of the critical ingredients in many lentil patty recipes is eggs. The eggs help to bond all of the ingredients together so that patties won’t fall apart during cooking. Some kinds of vegetable oil may also be used.

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Cooks may use other vegetables along with lentils in these types of vegetarian patties. Some common ones include onions, which may be minced or diced and added to provide flavor. Some recipes also add vegetables like beets or yams that also have a rich, dense texture.

Some lentil patties also include fillers like oatmeal or ground barley. Garlic is another common addition that provides more flavor. Cooks may also add other spices like salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, basil or anything else that will add to the flavor profile.

Many of these foods are fried in order to help them imitate meat patties. In fried versions, the outside of the patty will be crisp and brown, while the inside will be more soft. Some recipes call for baking lentil patties instead of frying them, which can provide a healthier result.

Frequently, lentil patties are used in sandwiches. They may be dressed up to resemble cheeseburgers with garnishes like lettuce, tomato, and onions. Sesame seed rolls may also be used to help these patties look like hamburgers or cheeseburgers. Cooks may also use lentil patties and other dishes like salads, or put smaller patties into soups or stews.

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