This spicy bean burger is not just for the vegetarians, a wholesome mix of beans and lentils with a spicy fiery kick with a sweet chutney!
As you have probably guessed by now I am rather fond of vegetarian food and this spicy bean burger is one of the reasons why! I am a million miles away from being a vegetarian, I love meat.
Hell I love food and quite often find that the food I want to eat happens to have no meat in it.
Lets face it a great burger is a thing of great beauty but it does not always have to be Ground Beef with the same old toppings on. A great burger for me is a moist but substantial ‘pattie’ with generous. Add to that some complementary toppings that you want to just dive into and this does it for me.
My spicy bean burger combines beans, lentils, onions, spices with pickled chilies and is topped with some young kale and a sweet but spicy chunky peach chutney. Sure it takes a little longer to make than a beef burger but I always think the best things in life are worth a little more effort. Cliche Alert, anyone has my absolute permission to point all of my cheesy cliches and give me a digital slap!
Most Veggie burgers I have eaten fall in to one of two categories, mushy or dry. But I have tried with this spicy bean burger to tread a fine line to keep it moist but still keep a little texture in the burger. The adding of uncooked cous cous whilst the bean ‘paste’ is still warm helps to draw out some of the moisture form the beans and lentils but still allows them to hang together.
The cous cous almost ‘cooks’ in the moisture and steam from the paste but gives it all back when you bite into the burger. The walnuts also help add a little textural interest and the almost bitter earthiness is the perfect foil for the piquancy of the pickled chili. I used Hungarian pickled chilies which are ubiquitous over here but you could use something like a Jalapeno and add them slowly to judge the heat levels.
The sweet peach chutney is really quick to make and goes superbly with the burgers and is a recipe I have used on all sorts of sandwiches and even as a pseudo dressing for salads. I am sure the sweet and savoury combination will alienate some but I am definitely on the side of the fence that enjoys a little sweetness with savoury food.
On a completely different note I have a theory that all burgers should be photographed with fire. They are synonymous with BBQ’s so naturally I could Photoshop some flames in to the back of the image. But where would be the fun in that?
Yes I did set fire to some flammable liquid in my living room to get the flame picture! My wife is very supportive of my blogging although there is always a little frustration that I prepare all of this food but she has to wait until I have photographed it before she can eat.
Well today she also had to play fearless stunt woman and set fire to stuff whilst I took the shots of my spicy bean burger. She fortunately loved the spicy bean burgers so any frustration was soon forgotten and I promise that no one was harmed in the taking of the picture…
But if you are going to try this at home please be careful!
Spicy Bean Burger
For the Burger
- 100 g White Beans Dried, or 200g cooked beans
- 150 g Red Lentils Dried
- 125 g Onion Finely Diced
- 1 Tbsp Sweet Paprika
- 5 Pickled Chili Adjust to taste
- 75 g Walnuts
- 50 g Cous Cous
- Salt To taste
- Black Pepper To taste
For the Chutney
- 2 Peaches Cut in half, remove the stone and then cut each half into 8 segments
- 2 Onions Cut in half and then each half into 8 segments
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 2 Pickled Chilies Chopped
For the Burger
- If using dried beans soak them over night and then cook in boiling water until cooked (1-2 hours depending on type of bean)
- Cook the lentils in boiling unsalted water so that the finish at the same time as the beans, these will take around 20 minutes
- Finely dice the onion and fry until golden brown in a little flavourless oil
- Combine the beans with half of the lentils and blitz to a paste using an immersion blender
- Add the cooked onion, pickled chili, walnuts, remaining lentils and paprika to the paste and mix
- When the mix is thoroughly incorporated add in the uncooked cous cous, it is important to do this when the mix is still hot
- You should taste test at this point for seasoning, be prepared to add quite a lot of salt as neone of the grains or pulses have been seasoned as yet
- Form into patties, I lined a circular cookie cutter about the same size as my buns and lined with over sized cling film and then weighed out 150g (5oz) of the mix and formed into patties, continue to form the rest of the patties and wrap them in cling film and refrigerate to firm up for an hour
- Finally fry the burgers after they have rested for an hour, remember all of the ingredients are cooked so you are only looking to get some nice colourisation on the burger and heat it all the way through. This should take 3-5 minutes over a high heat which is reduced to medium after the burger is coloured
For the Chutney
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a searing hot pan and throw in the onions that have been cut in to segments and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, you are aiming to get a nice nice caramel dark edges
- Add the peaches and a pinch of salt and stir fry for one minute and then add the chilies and fry for a further minute
- finally add the honey and mirin and boil for just a minute and it is ready
Build your Burger
- Choose your bun, add some salad leaves to the bottom bun, I used some baby kale that we have growing in our garden and flash fried it for 30 seconds, but sorrel or spinach would work really well
- Add your burger and top with a little more green stuff
- then generously heap on the chutney and you are good to go