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Spiced Lentil Burger Pockets w/ Chilli, Apple, Tomato Sauce

December 9, 2011

Spiced Lentil Burger Patty Pockets w/ Chilli, Apple, Tomato Sauce

This is a little recipe that has been kicking around my head for a while and I’m so glad to be finally sharing it with you all. It’s always a joy to share something that has turned out even better than I’d first anticipated. Due to the continued popularity of the Dal Kofta I really wanted to try and create another dish that embraces the deliciousness of lentils and spices.

These spicy lentil burgers are something akin to a falafel with chickpeas, spices and dates all rolled into one tasty little fried patty. Perfect in a salad pocket, sandwich, wrap or burger. Alternatively you could roll them into balls and serve them as a delicious vegetarian appetizer.

I made a sweet and spicy chilli, apple, tomato sauce to accompany the lentil burger patties that adds a lovely hit of heat and a touch of that wonderful sweet/savoury combination that I love.

This vegetarian recipe is super versatile and so very, very tasty. Serve as messy pockets to family and friends on summer picnics or at barbeques. The lentil burger patties also make a lovely family dinner served with salad or veggies in winter. A great vegan meal full of flavour and so much yumminess, enjoy!!

Spiced Lentil Burger Patty Pockets w/ Chilli, Apple, Tomato Sauce

Spiced Lentil Burger Patties

Preparation time: 35mins // Makes 10-12 small patties or balls

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  • 160g (5½ oz) red lentils, rinsed
  • 450ml (15 fl. oz.) water or vegetable broth
  • 175g (6 oz) tinned chickpeas
  • ¼ small red onion, finely minced
  • 4 fresh dates (approx. 85g (3 oz)), diced
  • small handful fresh mint leaves (approx. 1 tbs), finely shredded
  • 1 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin

Add the lentils and water or broth to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and gently simmer for 10 minutes, adding more water if needed.

Strain off excess liquid and allow to cool.

Meanwhile by hand or in a food processor coarsely pulse the chickpeas, being sure not to over process them to a paste.

In a large bowl combine the chickpeas with the dates, mint and spices season with a good pinch of ground rock salt and add in the cooled lentils.

The lentils should be reasonably mushy and this should bring the patty mixture together nicely. Roll about a tablespoon of the mixture at a time into small flat patties or balls if you prefer.

The patties can be tossed in breadcrumbs at this stage if you like.

Fry the patties or balls in about 1cm of vegetable oil until golden on all sides, set aside on absorbent paper. Serve warm.

Spiced Lentil Burger Patty Pockets w/ Chilli, Apple, Tomato Sauce

Chilli, Apple, Tomato Sauce

Preparation time: 10mins // Makes approx. 2 cups

  • 4 red chillies, deseeded (or try ½ red capsicum (bell pepper) for a milder version)
  • 1-2 large ripe tomato
  • ¼ cup apple sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch raw sugar
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 tbs olive oil

In a food processor blend the chillies or capsicum with the tomato, apple sauce, cumin seeds, apple cider vinegar, sugar and lemon until smooth.

Fold through the olive oil.

Transfer to a sterile jar and keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Spiced Lentil Burger Patty Pockets w/ Chilli, Apple, Tomato Sauce

  • spiced lentil patties
  • chilli, apple, tomato sauce
  • wholemeal pocket bread, warmed in the oven
  • cucumber, sliced
  • tomato, sliced
  • avocado, sliced
  • baby spinach, washed
  • fresh coriander (cilantro)

Slice the top off the warmed pocket bread and fill with the ingredients topping off with a drizzle of the tomato sauce and a few sprigs of fresh coriander.

Alternatively add your favourite vegan or dairy cheese and yoghurt or hummus to complete this delicious and healthy vegetarian recipe.

Spiced Lentil Burger Patty Pockets w/ Chilli, Apple, Tomato Sauce

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  • Heidi @ Food Doodles December 9, 2011 at 11:09 am

    These look so delicious, as a whole meal or just the patties(I can’t help myself, I love things in patty shape, like these!). The dates are a really interesting addition – I almost don’t know if I’d like them in there, but the rest of the patties look so yummy! Especially with your tomato sauce :)

  • Jane H. Johansen December 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

    That looks absolutely mouth-watering!! Nom nom!

  • Beth Cregan December 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Well this recipe is on the menu for next week! I am continually trying to find ways to serve lentils, chick peas etc to my family and your recipes always hit the mark!

  • Jennifer December 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Looks incredible, Trudy! I’m going to make these over the weekend!

  • chow vegan December 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    So yummy looking! Love all the different flavors you got going on there! :-)

  • Jessica December 11, 2011 at 6:48 am


  • chinmayie @ love food eat December 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Mouthwatering! Such a healthy and filling dish :)

  • Jennifer December 12, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I just made this recipe. It is SUPERB!! The sauce is so amazing with the patties – perfection. I couldn’t stop eating them!

  • Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul December 15, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Yummy! I have to make these asap!

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner December 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Your lentil patties look SO good! 😀

  • Sue January 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    These were just amazing! We didn’t have chickpeas or dates, so used only lentils and prunes instead.Definitely make the sauce too, but about 1tsp brown sugar instead of a pinch, and used 2 chilli’s and 1/2 capsicum. Yum.
    Will be making them for the inlaws – who aren’t the most health conscious people – Im sure we’ll sell them too!

  • [email protected] cooking mom February 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    absolutely amazing. you have packed so many different flavors in just one dish. great recipe

  • Monica February 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Ok the look fab. I’m going to make me some pits this weekend just for this. Think chana dal would work in place of chickpeas?

  • Jeanette February 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for this fantastic recipe! I made these for dinner this evening and they were a big hit with my meat-loving partner. I was dubious about the dates but they worked really well – you can’t really identify that they are in there but they add depth to the flavour. The chilli sauce was also excellent. Have recommeded this recipe to all my friends. xoxo

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num March 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Yay!! Cheers for the great feedback and comments everyone!! great to hear from those who’ve cooked and enjoyed this dish :)

    Monica I think chana dal would work perfectly instead of the lentils, just adjust your cooking time when preparing them for the patties.

  • Kris May 16, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I have to tell you that I made these and they are outrageously delicious!! We made our own pitas because we had the time (and interest), and it took them over the top. Thank you for this recipe. It will most definitely be making the rotation in my house!

  • Amelia May 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Yum, you have a great skill to make dishes look incredible taste-y!

  • Claire May 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Trudy!
    I made these for dinner tonight and they were sooo tasty, But the patties totally disintegrated when I cooked them (we ate the mush, yum:)
    Do you have any tips to help keep them together?

  • Andrea May 31, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Hi Trudy – This recipe sounds great and I can see using the lentil patties in several different ways. Can the patties be frozen? Both my husband and I tend to work long hours and it would really help if there was a way I could double (or triple!) the spicy lentil patties recipe and defrost the day before. I know they would come in handy on those days we are out of energy. Thank you! Can’t wait to try!!

  • susie nunn June 15, 2012 at 6:44 am

    hmmm as someone who is always trying to swap meat for veg this looks YUM! Love your blog, just started my own, have a gander and let me know what you think if you have a minute xx

  • Jan July 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

    The sauce is brilliant – I made a double batch for gifts, making my own applesauce – I will try the patties next week!

  • jen October 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    really delicious, a hit with my omni boyf. My patties were runny, so I added some flour, oats and gluten flour to firm them up. The sauce was very unusual, but really made the dish