Bombay Burgers with Cucumber Raita

In that 'uncharacteristically manic' life we're experiencing right now that I referred to in the previous post, we are still eating most meals at home. Which is pretty remarkable given I really just want to order pizza and Chinese on an automatic rotation after being in the studio all day.

But that gets expensive. And it makes my hips big. And it really wouldn't be good parenting of me to do have sodium intake at those levels. So therefore, I cook. Which, as you know, I love. So its not a hardship, per say. It just takes a bit more planning than it did when I had 10+ hours at home to chunk away at a nightly meal.

I've been on a total Indian food kick lately. Like major cravings kind of kick. (no, there is no bun in the oven.) But there's something resonating deeply with my tastebuds that's crying out for ginger, curry, tumeric, coriander....

Last night I took those cravings (relentless, I say) and made Indian infused vegetarian burgers for dinner with a really flavorful cucumber raita. This is really easy-peasy. I made the mixture for the burger the night before while packing the kids next-day lunches and just formed and grilled them on the gas range about 15 minutes before mealtime.

Be forewarned, they are fork & knife burgers, Way too messy for handling. I used Ezekial 4:9 English Muffins but you could use ordinary hamburger buns, put this bad boy on a bed of napa cabbage or just eat it naked.


1 C Dried Red Lentils
1 lg. Potato, diced small
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 T flour
1 t. curry powder
1 t. ginger
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 t, lemon juice
1 C almond meal (or wheat germ)

Simmer potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Boil in enough water to add the lentils. Add lentils after 10 minutes and simmer until the lentils are soft but not disintegrating.
Drain the potatoes and lentils WELL. Put the potatoes and lentils into a large bowl and mash the very large potatoes, leaving the smaller ones for texture.
Add all other ingredients to the bowl except for the almond meal.
Allow to cool or place in the fridge until ready to form patties (I covered with Saran Wrap and put the bowl in the fridge until the next evening.)

When ready, form the patties. This recipe should make 4 large sized patties. Put the almond meal in a shallow bowl or pie plate and place the patty in the meal, covering both sides. Place each burger on a well oiled griddle or skillet and cook for approx. 5 minutes on each side over medium heat. You are looking for a nice browning on each side and for the center to be hot.

Remove and place immediately on the bun. Top with the raita and dig in (with fork and knife, of course.)


1/2 cucumber diced or shredded (your preference)
1 cup plain yogurt (I use 0% Fage)
1 t. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 t. garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t paprika
1 T parsley

Mix all in a bowl and let the flavors develop for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Mix before topping the burgers.


Stop. And. Breathe.

I'm not going to lie. Life at the Smith Homestead is uncharacteristically manic right now. Canaan, the eldest, has gone and made mama and papa proud by landing a big role in the community children's theater play. Not an easy feat. And now he is immersed in upwards of 20 hours a week of practice leading up to three weeks of performances.

So there's that.

Ezra is on track to become David Beckham (even wearing his cologne...yes, it exists). He's honed in on some pretty fancy footwork for an 8-year-old playing on a 10-year-old league. I never thought I would be a soccer mom. And I can't believe I'm saying this but I seriously L.O.V.E. being a soccer mom. Otto's following suit and has donned the cleats and shin guards for his first season as well.

The magazine keeps me challenged every single day. And Mr. Handsome is making his own mark right now in his industry. Proud partner I am.

But even with nightly schedules to keep, remarkably we are really, really.....chill. We've found a workable flow and it feels incredible. There's still nightly dinners around the farm table (albeit a bit more rushed than usual) and there's cuddles on the couch, dance parties, date nights, baking, painting, laughing and goodness at every turn.

And then there's this.

Our beloved Othniel Rockland (Otto) has become a bonafide photographer. Yep. That unpredictable third child who just turned 5 in February swiped my Nikon D60 (not the newest thing on the block, but its still worthy of a good shot now and again) and started taking pictures a couple of months ago. I attribute it to a Curious George episode he watched ad nauseam.
At first, I was uneasy about the whole idea. "Otto, go put the camera down. You might bang it and mess up the lens." He put it down, but the next day had it in hand again - I could hear the click of the shutter in the next room.

I decided to bend on my own knee-jerk rule. I let him take a handful of pictures.

Over the past few weeks, he'll pick up the camera as he sees it laying on a reachable shelf and he'll start photographing. The pictures run the gamut. And lets just be clear before I start bragging on this little genius, 99.8% of his pictures are waaaaaaaaaaaay blurry. Like unidentifiable objects blurry.

I finally sat down and emptied off the card. A memory card filled with Otto's pictures. I was blazing through them at lightening speed, stopping every so often to appreciate a good angle, have a laugh at a funny face his brothers amused him with or simply squinting to make out where in the heck he was at the time of that photo shoot.

And then I was stopped dead in my tracks at the set here. Mike had told me that Otto was eating breakfast and said aloud, "the light on these flowers is so pretty! I need to take a picture!"
I got a bit choked up seeing these. I don't really know why but I think it goes back to that manic/peaceful thing we're experiencing right now. These images confirm that we still are carving out times for slowness and beauty and creativity. We are teaching our children to appreciate...not just run through life, head down. Usually I might say something like, "its a good reminder to me to do the same..." but you know what? I actually am. And I am totally high fiving myself on that one.