Chickpea Curry Burgers

Homemade bean burgers are my newest obsession. They are surprisingly fast and easy to make, and much much better for you than any store bought processed soy based veggie burger (not to mention more delicious!).  I also love them because they are infinitely variable – you can add any spices, different kinds of beans, I’ve even thrown in chopped nuts.  As long as you have the basics – beans, an egg (or egg replacer for vegans – this is just for binding so probably any common egg substitute would work), bread crumbs, and spices – you can do pretty much anything you want.

This recipe is for chickpea curry burgers, but I’ve also made black bean almond burgers, and spicy black bean burgers. They were all delicious.  One standard 15 oz can of beans makes 3 good sized burgers, and the recipe doubles (and probably trebles) very easily if you’re feeding more people.  I’ve also been told you can make large batches and freeze them in ziploc bags, but I’ve never tried it. Plus, they’re so quick to make that having them fresh is not a hassle at all.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 egg (or substitute, or egg white if you’re worried about cholesterol.  I always hate the idea of throwing out the yolk, and can never think of something else to use it for.)
  • black pepper, red pepper, cumin, curry powder, coriander, and turmeric to taste. (a teaspoon or two of each is a probably good).
  • bread crumbs – about a 1/2 cup
  • burger buns
  • condiments/fixings

Directions

Drain and rinse can of chickpeas, and place in medium mixing bowl.  Crush with potato masher, until you can a coarse mash.  You want some chickpeas to be in pieces, and some to be paste-like.  If you are substituting other beans, they can be crushed with a fork, and if they are small, like black beans, some of the beans can be left whole

Beat egg lightly with a fork and add to beans. Add spices as desired.  Stir until well-combined.  Add breadcrumbs a little at a time, stirring as you go, until the mixture is well-coated but still sticks together.  If the mixture is too wet or too dry, the burgers will fall apart – so add slowly and test the mixture often to see if it can be formed into disks easily.  Form into three patties.

Meanwhile, heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan. When patties are formed, add to pan, cooking on medium heat until heated through, flipping over once. About 6 minutes.

Serve on buns with any fixings you desire.  I find the chickpea curry burgers go well with spinach leaves, spicy mustard, and blue cheese.

I look forward to trying variations on this recipe in the future. I always use a bit of cumin, because it gives the burgers a bit of a smoky flavour, and I’ve been thinking about trying them with a bit of liquid smoke thrown in.  I also love the idea of caramelizing onions and mixing them in with the burgers. Or using crushed nuts or seeds as the base of the burgers.  I also like to try various condiments on the burgers.  I’ve served black bean burgers with avocado and smoky tomato jam, and with sriracha and mayo and fresh spinach. Delicious.

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