Beans, beans, good for the… well pretty much everything really. I’ve found there is very little in the way of nutrition you can’t get from eating beans. Rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre, beans manage to pack loads of good stuff into tiny packages. Different beans also have varying levels of micronutients, such as iron, copper and calcium, so as a vegan, (or even if you’re not) eating a few different types of beans throughout the week is always a healthy option. They can be a little bland on their own, so we’ll spice them up a bit.
Let’s get Cookin’
This recipe changes quite literally every time I make bean burgers depending on what spices I have to hand, so again, I advise using the ones here as a guideline and to chop and change depending on what you have and what you like. The amounts here should serve two people.
For the Chips
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
For the Burgers
2 tins of your favourite beans (kidney beans and butter beans work well)
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp turmeric
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
2 cardomom pods
1 tsp of ground ginger
1/2 tsp chili powder OR 1 fresh chili, chopped finely
About 2 tbsps of flour
2 tbsps of vegetable oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C and cut the sweet potato in half lengthways, then cut into chip shapes about 1cm thick and however long you like.
2) Put the chopped up sweet potato into a baking tray along with the vegetable oil and give everything a good shake up and rub, making sure all the chips have a good covering of the oil. Put the tray in the oven, the chips will cook in about 45 minutes.
3) Drain and rinse the beans then put them in a food processor (alternatively you can use a hand masher, but the processor just makes things a little easier). Put all the spices and seasoning into a mortar and pestle and give them a good crush, especially the cardomom pods. Then add the spices to the food processor.
4) If you’re feeling zesty, grate the skin of the lime and add it to the beans, then juice the lime and add that too.
5) Pulse the beans with the spices and lime juice until it begins to form a paste. It’s very easy to overdo this so go easy so as not to end up with bean puree. When you start getting a paste-like consistency, add a little of the flour if you need to make the mixture a little stiffer (if you add too much, use a little water to thin it). There is an art to getting the right consistency and I still haven’t worked out the definitive method, so experimentation is key! The mixture needs to be stiff enough to handle and shape, but wet enough to hold together. If its wet enough but not quite stiff enough, putting the mixture in the fridge for a little while will stiffen it up.
6) With the mixture at the desired consistency, divide it into 4 equal parts and shape into burgers, you may need a little flour on your hands to do this. When the burgers are shaped, cover the outside of them in flour.
7) Heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry the burgers off, 3-4 minutes on either side should be ample to ensure they’re cooked through, but this can vary depending on the shape and size of your burgers, you want them to go nice and crisp on the outside.
8) Serve up and enjoy! Give the chips a prod with a form to check if they’re cooked, it should go in very easily when they’re cooked through. Buns and a green salad work really well with this, I put some mushrooms in the oven to cook with the chips when making this because oven cooked mushrooms are the BEST.
I hope you enjoy this, feel free to swap out any of the spices for any you prefer. I’m continually experimenting and changing ingredients with the burger recipe (a bunch of fresh coriander thrown in with the mixture works really well), so as with all the recipes I’ll be sharing, it’s open to interpretation!