Curry Lentil Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Global Spotlight on Sri Lanka
Why do they call it comfort food?
While there are many reasons certain foods makes us feel comforted, one reason is thought to be that eating high-calorie foods triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain. However, more studies are pointing to the social connections that may have been made around food as the strongest “comforter.” So join this weeks’ cooking class, in making some nutritious, dopamine-releasing, curry lentil burgers with your friends and family!

Lentils are one of the best sources of soluble fiber, which makes them great for lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol and preventing heart disease. They are also one of the least expensive legumes and have the second highest protein content of any legume, second only to soy beans!  Lentils cook from scratch more quickly than other dry legumes; you can cook lentils in 15 to 20 minutes without needing to soak them beforehand. The perfect warming side to lentil burgers are sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white potatoes. They are commonly thought to be tubers, or underground stems, like white potatoes and yams, but they are actually roots! They are rich in beta carotene, which gives them their orange color and helps our bodies make Vitamin A, which is important for our vision! Sweet potato leaves and shoots are often discarded, but they can also be eaten as tender, spinach-like greens!


Where do sweet potatoes, lentils and rice grow?

What is special about these foods in the colder months?

Why is it important to eat a variety of foods?

Share your answers at @butter_beans on twitter and @butterbeanskitchen on instagram!

Sinhala: විනොදෙන් කන්න (vinoden kanna)


  • 1/3 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 ½  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½  medium red onion, chopped
  • ½  carrot grated
  • 1-2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ¾  teaspoon sea salt
  • small pinch curry powder
  • smaller pinch of cayenne
  • smaller pinch of ground pepper
  • whole wheat flour


  • 2-3 large sweet potato
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • ketchup (optional)



  1. Cook lentils according to package directions (20-30 minutes).
  2. Cook rice according to package
  3. Preheat oven to 425
  4. Cut the sweet potato fries (cutting off a round edge first, then putting the potato on a flat edge so it won’t roll)
  5. Lightly coat the sweet potatoes with oil, then sprinkle with salt.
  6. Put sweet potatoes in the oven to bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Set timer.
  7. Prepare the lentil burgers- 
  8. Dice onions, grate carrots, chop sunflower seeds
  9. Set aside salt, curry, cayenne, and pepper
  10. Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until softened (5-6 minutes)
  11. Add the carrots, curry, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for 1 more minute.
  12. Add the lentils and the rice to the pot and mix together.
  13. Allow to cool slightly. Then use spoons or hands to make patties, adding a bit of flour to the mixture as needed to hold the burgers together.
  14. Put burgers ready to cook on baking sheets with parchment paper
  15. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned
  16. Enjoy!