- 2 cups plus water, divided
- 1 cup diced peeled carrots, (2-4 medium)
- 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed (see Ingredient note)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion, (1 medium)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 cup Cucumber-Mint Raita, optional (recipe follows)
- 3/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads
- Lettuce & sliced cucumber, for garnish
Combine 2 cups water, carrots, lentils and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer until the lentils are tender and falling apart, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain in a colander, gently pressing out excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast cashews in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder and the remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
Prepare Cucumber-Mint Raita, if using.
Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lentils and the onion mixture; pulse until the mixture is cohesive but still somewhat textured. Transfer to a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; mix well.
With dampened hands, form the mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.
Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 2 to 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Cut small ends off pitas and open the pockets. Serve burgers in pitas, with lettuce, cucumber and the raita, if desired.