Indian Spiced Lentil, Chicken Thigh & Bacon Mini Burgers



*The night before*

300g red split lentils – soak under water in a bowl.



300g Pre-soaked and drained red split lentils

4 x large, de-boned, skinless chicken thighs

3 x rashers of smoked back/ 4 x streaky bacon

2 x cloves of garlic

1 x thumb sized piece of peeled and grated ginger

1 x large banana shallot/1 x small white onion

1 tbsp Rapeseed/Sunflower oil

2 x med. sized peeled carrots, cut into chunks

juice from 1 x lemon

1 x tbsp maple syrup

1 x tbsp cider vinegar/white wine vinegar

2 x handfuls organic spinach

2 x tsps Maldon sea salt

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

1 x large free range egg


Place all of these ingredients, except for the lentils into your food processor, starting with the meat, then adding the garlic, shallot, the carrots and everything else.  Pulverise until smooth with some texture remaining (not quite into a paste).

Using a spatula, scrape out contents of the food processor into a large mixing bowl and add the lentils.  Stir in until roughly combined.  Set aside and get your pestle and mortar ready.

Into the mortar, add:

1/2 tsp mixed peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 dry bay leaf (stalk removed)

3 tsps garam masala

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp onion granules

2 tsps ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground mace

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp rapeseed oil

juice of half a lemon


Grind these spices into a paste and add to the bowl.  Mix thoroughly for several minutes until totally combined.

Now, you can either cover the bowl in cling film and refrigerate it for 4 hours or do as I do and spoon it into a large disposable piping bag, tie it off with a bobble, elastic band etc. and refrigerate for 4 hours instead.  I find it much cleaner and simpler to pipe the mixture directly into the hot oil rather than spooning it in but each to their own!


Once ready to cook:

Heat in a large, deep frying pan around 1 1/2 cm depth of rapeseed oil (sunflower is good but rapeseed add a lovely flavour to the food and is much healthier).  Test heat by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the oil, carefully. if it immediately starts to bubble vigorously then it is ready to fry.

Fry the burgers off in batches of 6 at a time, making them approximately 2″/5cm in diameter and turning them after around 4 mins/until turning golden brown.  Repeat on the other side, drain off excess oil and then place onto a plate with kitchen paper to absorb any further oil.

Once batch 1 is resting, put batch 2 on and then place the drained batch 1 burgers onto a baking tray to gently stay warm in a 140ºC oven.  Repeat until all mixture is cooked and all burgers have been warmed through in the oven.

Serve either hot as a part of a meal or cold as an appetiser or game day snack.  They would be perfect for Coeliac friendly wedding/birthday party canapés and they are even better once refrigerated overnight as the flavours really develop!

Serve with mango chutney, lime pickle and some homemade curry mayo (gf mayo, mild curry powder, lemon juice and honey.)

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