The Veggie Burger. To some it’s a boring and unnecessary creation and to others it’s a promising little patty that unfortunately, in most cases, falls short and fails to deliver the taste experience that it should. It can be found on many menus and in many forms. Some truly are the meat alternative using mock meat (such as Quorn), others are a base of lentils or chickpeas and some cuddle up to cheese for a flavour hit whilst others rely on chili to give ’em a kick. Or, they’ll be mashed potato with soft lumps of carrot, corn and pea; crumbed, deep fried and smothered in mayo like that of my local kebab shop’s offering (although it’s a mini miracle at 2am after a heavy session at the pub and facing a long stagger home).
Veggie burgers need to up their game. You’d think that with all the options available to them that they’d be little flavour bombs but so many of them fall short. I haven’t found a single one that I love yet. More often than not they’re too dry or too bland (Some folk often find them to be too mushy, I don’t mind a veggie patty being a bit squidgy, but it needs to be full of flavour). Not anymore.
I gave myself a mission to create the ultimate veggie burger. A burger that doesn’t disappoint vegetarians with it’s lack of flavour and texture and one that generates intrigue and envy among the meat eaters; a burger that stands above the rest, even the meat options; a burger that appeals to the majority of burger eaters; a burger that has plenty of flavour and texture, holds together and generally looks appetizing. Oh, and in no way, shape or form contains mushrooms (I just can’t be doing with them).
My experience of mashed potato based patties were enough to know that I didn’t want to follow that route, that can be reserved for (the very occasional) 2am tipsy staggerings.
I had a few burger trials and eventually came up with this:
The Ultimate Veggie Curry Burger
You Will Need;
1 can of Chickpeas (400g can /240g drained)
Half a Red Onion – diced
1 Small Leek – diced
1 Carrot – diced
60g Dried Apricot – diced
1 Fresh Red Chilli – sliced
3 tbs Plain Flour
4 tbs Oats
1 Free Range Egg
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Garam Masala
Half tsp Curry Powder
Quarter tsp Dried Coriander
Knob of Butter
Natural Yoghurt, Baby Spinach and Naan Bread to serve with
Lightly toast the pistachios in a dry pan and then set aside
Heat the chickpeas in a saucepan for 3 – 4 minutes and then drain
In a pan, melt a knob of butter and then add the diced onion, leek and carrot and soften over a medium heat
Next add the chickpeas , take off the heat and begin to mash them with the vegetables
Add the flour, oats and egg and continue to mash and combine the mixture
Next add the pistachios, apricot, oil, spices and as much red chilli as you can handle and combine with the rest of the mixture
Roll the mixture into 4 balls
Heat a little more butter in a frying pan, place the rolled balls in the pan and gently flatten out
Fry for approximately 3 -4 minutes on each side or until crisp, golden and heated all the way through
Tip- for extra crunch, roll the balls in more oats before frying
Serve with a heated naan bread, baby spinach and some natural yoghurt (and a little more chilli if your taste buds allow)