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Best Veg-burger Patties!

Making your own veggie-burger patties is a walk in the park if you follow some basic rules:

  • The mixture must be on the dry side, sloppy patties disintegrate.
  • If you chill the patties for at least 30 minutes before frying or baking them, they hold together better.
  • Rolling them in oats, sesame seeds, ground nut powder gives a lovely crispy exterior and helps to bind them.
  • Pulse and grains are your best basic mix - add value with veggies & very finely chopped herbs.
  • Season patties well, as the basic mix is on the bland side.
  • Heat the oil in the pan before adding the burgers, fry at low temperatures for at least 10 minutes per side and only turn once.  
  • Use a wide metal spatula that gets right under the patty to turn it.
  • Don’t forget to have red onion rings, sliced tomatoes, crispy lettuce leaves, gherkins and a tasty tomato sauce for authentic enjoyment.
  • Patties freeze beautifully. Make up a double batch so you’ve got some for next time.

Here are some of my best patty recipes. I usually cook my own pulses, but have used canned pulses for these recipes as they save so much time. Use the liquid in soups.

Lentil & Mushroom Patty Burger
Drain two cans of black lentils, mash roughly with a potato masher. Chop a red onion finely and fry it up, adding chopped garlic, some chopped ginger, and a small green chilli, chopped. Add chopped mushroom and fry together until all the mushroom liquid has evaporated. Add the mashed lentils and push around on the skillet, drying the mixture out till it is quite stiff. Add a cup of cooked brown rice and mix in well. Season well with salt & pepper and some chopped coriander. Allow to cool right down. Put either half a cup of ground almond powder or half a cup of brown bread flour on a plate. Shape your mix into patties and roll them in the dry stuff. Line them up when all done and give an extra flurry of seasoning – salt, black pepper, chilli flakes etc. Finish off with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Chill for 30 minutes, then heat oil in the skillet and fry until golden, turning once. Have your buns and all the trimmings waiting. Assemble and enjoy!

Red Bean, Chick Pea & Sweet Potato Patty
Open one can of red beans and one can of chick peas and drain well. Mash roughly with a fork or potato masher. Steam up 2 nice big sweet potatoes and drain well. Skin and mash. Now chop onion finely and fry until golden in a skillet. Add other seasonings that you like…garlic, herbs, and powdered spices. Add the mashed sweet potato and fry with the other ingredients until the mixture is stiff. Add the mashed beans & chick peas, working into the potato mixture at low heat. When you have a good stiff mix, season well and set aside to cool. Now work in a tablespoon of gram (or chick pea) flour, half a cup of fresh green herbs (spring onion tops, coriander leaves, flat leaf parsley, fresh mint).  Sprinkle a board with bread flour and lay the mixture out, sprinkle with a little more flour, and press out to correct thickness. Cut rounds with a glass until all the mixture is used up. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes; fry up in pre-warmed oil, turning once. Crispy and delicious, but don’t be in a rush – put stove plate on 2 or 3, cover and leave to form nice crispy crust. Goes well with mozzarella cheese and corn bread. Yum!

Sugar Bean & Mixed Veg Patties
Open two cans of sugar beans and one can sweetcorn kernels and drain well. Mash beans roughly and reserve. Heat oil in a skillet and add one finely chopped onion, some garlic, two celery stalks with leaves chopped very fine, one carrot chopped fine, or grated, a few green beans chopped fine and the sweetcorn kernels. Stir around until the  veggies are almost cooked. Add a cup of cooked brown rice and braise a little. Now add the mashed beans and work the mixture in the pan until it is nice and stiff and everything is sticking to the beans. You can add ground almond powder, or sunflower seed powder or flax seed powder to the mix to stiffen it up. Season really well. Roll into balls and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes. Flatten each ball and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Fry each side in pre-heated oil on low heat for at least 10 minutes to get that yummy roasted exterior. Break rules by stacking two patties on top of each other, on a bed of chopped lettuce with thin red onion rings in between and fresh tomato slices on top. Deconstruct, do without the bread. Serve with hot tomato relish. Also yum! 

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