Apparently, I haven't posted a bean burger recipe on this blog. That must mean it's on the other one. How peculiar. Bean burgers are the apogee of vegetarian cuisine in the books of many people I know. They were certainly the most popular thing I ever made in Edinburgh when I was cooking for PGP. I think if I ever asked Carl what he'd like me to cook him (as opposed to saying, 'I'll make this, that's ok isn't it?'), this would be the answer every time. I've refined the recipe through the years, and the following was pronounced the best yet when I cooked them for him as an early New Year thing the other night. I'm sure I read a recipe once upon a time, but I think that I can confidently call these 'mine' now.
I guess it looks like a complicated recipe. It's not, most of it is spoonfuls of spices. This is cheap crowd-pleaser food, which could even be vegan if you roll them in seasoned flour at the end instead of egg and breadcrumbs and leave out the haloumi.
Makes 8 burgers (feeds 4, very well indeed)
400g tin red kidney beans in water, drained
400g tin borlotti beans in water, drained (or other firm beans - butter beans or more kidney beans, or haricots all work)
2 large onions, very finely diced
4 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
50g coriander leaves, finely chopped, or 25g coriander and 25g parsley
Juice of half a lime
Salt to taste
250g or so of breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
To serve, and these are important:
Grilled pepper slices
Haloumi cheese, in 5mm slices and fried for a few seconds until it has some colour
Hot sauce - Nandos is traditional, but I was given some Cornish stuff for Christmas so we had that.
Fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the cumin, ground coriander, chilli flakes and turmeric and fry for another 30 seconds. Might need a bit more oil. Take it off the heat and allow to cool while you mash the beans roughly with a potato masher. You could do it in a food processor but don't make puree. Add in the onion mix and combine everything. Add the green herbs and the lime juice and taste - it will need salt. The mixture should only hold together when you squeeze it; it should be on the dry side. It probably won't be at this stage unless you add a couple of tablespoons of breadcrumbs, so do that.
Heap up a bun with a burger, a couple of slices of haloumi, some pepper slices, some lettuce and a slug of hot sauce. Feed to Carl, or friend of your choice.