Ok here’s what you really need to make homemade veggie burgers: A food processor to blend all your ingredients into a nice mushy paste easily, but failing that a bowl. An oven or frying pan to bake or fry them and a willingness to use recipe-free recipes. What do we mean by that? Well we mean that veggie burgers can be made with almost any combination of ingredients that you like. The combinations of ingredients are as limitless as your imagination. You can follow very simple recipes or super intricate ones or just make them up different every time with whatever you have to hand.
Veggie burgers are one of the most delightful things to make as they can be made with anything From beans and rice to grains and legumes to eggs and breadcrumbs to cheese and yogurt, many are the variables determining the fate of a homemade veggie burger. They can also be shallow fried, deep fried, baked and barbequed. Experiment! that is one rule here.
If you are using dried pulses or beans then you will need to soak these overnight, bring to boil simmer for 40 minutes drain and then whizz or you can use canned chickpeas, mixed beans, or other simply drain and rinse and whizz. I prefer soaking from scratch as the flavour and texture is never quite matched by canned also you can control the quantities you desire whether a little or a lot and packets of dried pulses and beans are far better value. These are definitely the option if you prize value and resourcefulness.
If you’ve made falafel you’re familiar with the method: soak dried chickpeas overnight, drain them, whizz them with onions, herbs and seasonings, deep fry. Or again you can go the readymade way.
Without any binders, falafel manages to hold its shape, crispy on the edges, light and airy in the interior. This method works beautifully for veggie burgers, too, the reconstituted puréed chickpeas acting as a binding agent, rendering additions such as eggs, yogurt, breadcrumbs, etc. unnecessary. I mean, if we’re going through the trouble to make veggie burgers, wouldn’t it be nice to keep them strictly vegetarian? These happen to be vegan as a bonus.
And no flavour is compromised due to the absence of these ingredients we often rely on to keep our favourite patties, croquettes and fritters intact. Here instead is a great opportunity to use fresh or quality dried ingredients full of goodness and flavour, raw onions, basil, coriander, scallions, smoked paprika and grated courgette offer bite, smoke, and freshness. A cup of cooked quinoa, too, provides a nice crunch throughout, the grains crisping up if you fry them. Feel free to change the spices (cumin, coriander, cayenne, spicy curry mix!) and herbs and vegetables. P.s It’s a great way to get children to eat hidden vegetables and vegetable protein they might otherwise baulk at.