Friday 2 August 2013

Foodie Friday - Spicy Falafel Burgers

One of the myths about vegetarianism  is that we live on beans and pulses. I hate to disappoint but vegetarianism has come a long way since the image of lentil eating hippies. That said beans and pulses are a really important part of a vegetarians diet, they are really high not only in fibre but also in protein. I'm a huge bean and pulse fan and I try to have at least two servings a week. My favourite bean, has to be the humble baked bean, haricot beans covered in a yummy tomato sauce, but my second favourite is the chick pea or garbanzo bean for my American chums :) I can literally eat them straight out the can, and I often do, I love their almost nutty flavour, and the fact that they are so versatile. I regular pop them into a curry or a chilli, and of course I love hummus. Chick Peas can also be used to make the popular Middle Eastern snack - Falafel. I love falafel but more often than not the ready made ones contain wheat flour, which means I'm really not supposed to eat them :( so I learned to make my own. The recipe here can be used to make those little falafel balls that your probably familiar with but I like to use the same recipe to make a sort of spicy bean burger.

Spicy Falafel Burgers

1 Can Chick Peas 
1 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
A Couple Of Pickled Jalapenos 
A Pinch Of Chilli Flakes
1 tsp Curry Paste or Curry Powder
A Pinch Of Dried Or Fresh Mint
A Pinch Of Dried Or Fresh Coriander
A Pinch Of Cumin
A Squeeze Of Lemon Juice 
Salt and Pepper To Taste 
 1 Egg
A Couple Of Tablespoons Of Flour

1. Quarter the onion, and peel the garlic and put into a food processor

Pulse until the onions and garlic are finely chopped.

2. Drain your chick peas and give them a rinse 

Then crack an egg into a small bowl and beat

Add the chick peas to the food processor and then add the jalapenos or chilli flakes

Then pulse till everything is roughly chopped and combined

3. Then add all of the herbs and spices, and the lemon juice,the beaten egg and a tablespoon of flour and pulse again till you get a rough paste

Taste for seasoning, and then add more herbs, and spices or salt and pepper as needed

4. Tip your mixture into a large mixing bowl.  The mixture should stick together quite easily, if it's too dry  add a bit more egg, or if it's too wet add a little bit of flour. Pop it in the fridge for about an hour to give it a chance to firm up

5. Form it into four balls using your hands Then flatten out the balls to make 4 burger shapes, they needn't be perfect they are homemade after all the key thing is don't make them too thin. You might find this step a little bit easier if you flour your hands first.

6. Cook in a very hot frying pan, until they are brown. You could use a little bit of oil but it's much better if you use a dry, non stick pan. They are still pretty fragile so don't panic if they fall apart, that's why I only cook one at a time, so it's easier to turn them over. They should be slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the middle

7. Voila Spicy Falafel Burgers - not exactly the most attractive thing out there but they have a real spicy kick. We've served ours with some homegrown potatoes (go us!) and a bit of salad but you could you could use them as you would a regular burger or you could serve them like you would traditional falafel, in a pitta or flat bread with salad.

This again is a pretty versatile recipe which you can season exactly the way you want, depending on what flavours and what level of spice that you like. You could also make this mix into traditional falafel by rolling the mix into small balls, coating in egg and flour and deep frying in golden brown. I'm a big bean and pulse lover and I love experimenting with different ingredients and different beans to make different types of bean burger. I've also used a food processor here which isn't essential but it does make things a bit easier, all you need to do if your not using one is to finely chop the onion, garlic and jalapenos, and mash the chick peas with a fork, then mix everything together. I'm actually working on a few recipes at the moment which I'm testing out on Mummy Lou and trying to perfect when I'm happy with them I'lll stick the recipes on here x Are you are a falafal or chickpea fan let me know in the comments x 

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