Cooked red lentils are very similar in texture to cooked split green peas; that is, they don’t hold their shape and tend to become very soft. That’s why you most often see them in soup or Indian ‘dal’ recipes where a firm texture is not the end-goal.
They are surprisingly delicious as a vegetarian burger when mixed with a sturdier grain. The bulgur wheat expands during cooking and binds the lentils together by absorbing liquid. Chopped, toasted walnuts add texture as well. I have not added flour or egg as an additional binder; I spread my cooked mixture on a sheet pan and refrigerated until firm. (If, after a couple hours of chilling your mixture still seems wet and won’t hold a ‘patty-shape’ you may want to add a tablespoon or two of AP flour (all purpose).
I shaped them into 2 ½ -inch patties and coated them a ‘standard breading’ treatment, which in turn, provides structure and a crust. I pan-fried (sauté) them and served them warm with some savory accompaniments: caramelized onions, hummus, yogurt seasoned with Syrian Aleppo pepper flakes and drizzles of both pomegranate molasses and tahini sauce. Sliced cucumbers and thinly sliced dill pickles would add a bit of crunch and a touch of piquancy.