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Friday, 16 November 2012

Thai Chickpea Burgers

Tom's turn today! (alliteration win)

This is one recipe that is almost completely my own creation. After going vegan I had the occasional craving for something nice and hefty and filling and well....burger-like. Anyway, mushrooms burgers without goats cheese just weren't the same so I decided to invent my own recipe. It's similar-ish to falafel (in that it involves chickpeas - but what vegan food doesn't?) and has the spicy fresh flavours that come with thai food. This recipe can be gluten free or not depending on what you use to bind it (see the notes in the recipe list).

The nutritional values are listed here (as best as I could work them out), this recipe makes 8 small burgers or 4 large-ish burgers (I'd usually use this to make 4 dinners worth):

                        Calories      Carbs       Fat      Protein       Sodium        Sugar
   Total                530            73          32         18               36               9
  Per Serving         66              9            3           2                5                1


1 can Chickpeas
1/2 an Onion (I prefer red)
1/2 a Courgette
3 cloves of Garlic
1 cm piece of fresh Ginger (I have absolutely no idea how much this weighs - maybe 40g? You can use Ground Ginger if you want, probably around 1.5 tsp will be alright)
1 Lime
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 small Red Chili
1 tbsp Olive Oil (or if you have it sesame gives a great flavour)
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
Either 4 tbsp Flour/Gluten Free Flour OR 5 tbsp Oats
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp Cornflour
Salt and Pepper to taste

This works with a mixture of the two i.e. 2 tbsp Flour and 3 tbsp Oats. If you eat eggs and want to use one instead I would substitute the half the flour and the oil for one egg (you can omit all the flour if you want too but it helps to make the mixture the right consistency - as always, have an experiment). I know buying fresh ginger probably feels like a massive pain but trust me DO IT. It is undoubtedly worth it. At the risk of sounding pretentious (who I am I kidding? I'm vegan) ground ginger just doesn't even compare in flavour and you need so much more to taste it and it just isn't as nice. A decent sized piece of ginger is a staple of my weekly shop, I'd recommend it.


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celcius.
Strain and wash the chickpeas (you don't necessarily need to do this, I just hate the smell of the water they come in).
Smush them in mixing bowl - you can use a potato masher if you want but honestly, I find it easier to just use my hands. Punch them, physically punch them. Great stress release.
Chop up the onion, chili and garlic and add it into the bowl.
Grate the courgette and the ginger into the bowl.
Juice and zest the lime.
Add the tomato paste, soy sauce and olive oil and mix thoroughly.
Either sift in the flour and baking powder and cornflour or stir in the oats.
Season to taste.
Mix around with you hands until they are a good consistency (this doesn't always happen, add either more lime juice/water or flour until you can make them start to stick together).
Squash into burger shapes and place on a baking tray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes on either side (or until golden brown/it looks cooked - entirely your call).
Serve and enjoy!

I like to serve two of these with boiled new potatoes, steamed veg and/or a salad - having both takes this to about 500 calories a portion (based on 150g potatoes, a normal size of vegetables). Also protip: a glug of sweet chili sauce can save even the driest and most burnt of burgers (something you learn quickly if you have as bad a memory as mine).

This is just how I like these burgers HOWEVER, not everyone likes thai food (I don't know why it's just true) so feel free to scrap all the flavours from these burgers and just use the basic recipe (chickpeas, courgette, onion, oil, baking power and flour/oats) and make them how you want to.


Add a stick of lemongrass (or ground lemongrass) for an extra thai flavour - I didn't put this in the main recipe as it's something of a specialist ingredient but it regularly makes an appearance in mine.
Add a tsp of cumin, paprika, tomato paste and garlic - more of a mexican vibe

As always, let us know your improvements at or leave a comment!

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