The one quality that makes chickpeas so fantastically versatile is their rather marvellous texture. More uniform and slightly drier than other pulses, chickpeas possess an almost claggy characteristic perfect in hummus, as a crispy ball of falafel or even a “meaty” chickpea burger. What is more, chickpeas have a culinary coup in reserve; their flavour is a little less prevalent than that of other pulses. With chickpeas a delightful ambience of taste is assured, one that is easily peppered with high points from a wealth of suitable ingredients.
Though some guidance is offered below, you may flavour your chickpeas burgers any way you wish – the pantry is your proverbial oyster. Mint and coriander make particularly suitable herbs here; their fragrance carries through in a most satisfactory manner. However, where this recipe excels is in the addition of mango chutney. The chutney gives each burger a little sweetness and compliments the cumin perfectly.
When selecting your chutney go for the hottest, most fragrant you can find – whole spices such as cloves, cardamom and onion seeds are a good omen. Though, you may of course make use of my spectacular and much-frequented mango chutney recipe – your chickpea burgers will be full of grace and thanks… as will your taste buds!
• 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, or soaked equivalent
• 2 tbsp mango chutney
• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
• 3 tbsp mint, coriander or similar, chopped
• 1 tbsp ground whole cumin seeds
• A twist of lemon juice
• A drizzle of olive oil
• Enough plain or gram flour to bring the mixture together, around 3 tbsp
• Salt and pepper
1. Mash your chickpeas in a large bowl with a fork. Once they resemble a lumpy paste stir in the chutney, garlic, herbs, spices, lemon and oil. Incorporate the flour and season generously.
2. Form the mixture into burgers – making between 6 and 8 – and coat in flour before refrigerating for 30-40 minutes.
3. Once chilled, shallow fry the chickpea burgers until golden brown on each side and serve with red cabbage slaw and a pita.
Cost: Chickpeas, like most pulses, are exceptionally cheap, particularly when soaked from dry. As such, even with the addition of mango chutney, these burgers should set you back no more than £1.10!