There is something so wonderful about a recipe with only a few fresh ingredients, that doesn’t require a fistful of salt or sugar to taste good. I usually buy my veggie burgers. I haven’t had a lot of success with texture, and the burgers I’ve made tend to fall apart. These have a texture similar to ground meat (if that’s important to you), and they hold together beautifully.
The most difficult thing about the recipe is the soaking of the beans and lentils. Don’t use canned varieties, because it’s not the same either in terms of texture or flavor–the patties will be too mushy and will likely fall apart when fried.
Chickpea Lentil Burgers (makes 6 large or 12 small burgers)
1/2 cup (120ml) dried chickpeas
1/2 cup (120ml) green lentils
1 medium onion, any color, roughly chopped
2 medium or 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon (5ml) mixed dried herbs of choice*
2 Tbsps. (30ml) all-purpose flour
1 large egg, room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil or any high temp oil good for frying
*I used Trader Joe’s (salt-free) 21 Spice Salute, but use any single or combination of dried herb/spice appealing to you.
Soak the chickpeas and lentils overnight, at room temperature, in enough water to cover them as they expand–a few inches will do.
Drain the soaked beans and lentils and set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, chickpeas, lentils and a few pinches of salt. Cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and herbs/spices and cook for another five minutes.
Take off the heat and let cool. Once cool, pulse the mixture in a food processor until broken down but not to the point where it becomes a paste. Most of the lentils will still be whole, but the chickpeas, onions and carrots will be crumbly looking.
Taste a bit of the mixture and add salt, pepper and any other seasoning to your liking. Turn into a bowl, add the egg, and mix to combine. It won’t look like enough to go around, but it is. Using your impeccably clean hands to form the mixture into patties and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat about one inch of canola oil over medium high heat. When you add a tiny bit of the burger mixture it should bubble right away. I use a smaller pan and do several batches so I can use less oil to get the proper depth for frying.
Fry the patties for a few minutes on both sides or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. If making the burgers in batches keep them in a warm oven until they’re all done. Serve warm with your choice of bun (or not) and toppings.