Lentil and couscous burgers

I love veggie burgers but it’s hard to get them right. For years I’ve tried to make the perfect bean burgers but the consistency is so often wrong – they’re either too dry and crumbly or too wet. Chickpeas are much better for burger patties than beans, and lentils can also work well. I got the recipe for these lentil burgers from a friend at work. They’re delicious and they have an interesting texture – quite crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I love the idea of adding couscous for bulking up – a lot of veggie burger recipes call for breadcrumbs, which can be a bit boring. You could add a whole lot more spices and flavours to these burgers if you’d like – fresh coriander, curry powder or finely chopped lemongrass would be interesting.

Makes 8 big patties, enough for 4 people

2 tins of brown lentils, drained
One medium onion, chopped finely
2 medium carrots, grated
1 courgette, grated
1 cup of uncooked couscous
2 free range eggs
5 peppadews, chopped finely
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
Lemon juice
Turmeric, cayenne pepper, dried chilli flakes, soya sauce

Cook the couscous according to the packet directions.

Blitz three quarters of the lentils with the eggs in a blender or food processor until pureed. Combine with the carrots, courgette, onion, couscous, peppadews, the remainder of the unblitzed lentils and the garlic and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with pinches of tumeric, cayenne pepper and chilli flakes, as well as a splash of soya sauce. Form the mixture into patties and leave them in the fridge to firm up for at least 20 minutes.

Bake them on a lightly oiled tray in the oven at 200C for around 15 minutes or until golden and crunchy, turning half way through. They’re delicious cut in half and served in a wrap with spinach, avocado and mushrooms. They’d be equally good on buns with some sweet potato chips.

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