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
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.