This is one of my most followed vegetarian recipes. Which has to mean something…
- Dice the onion finely. Crush the garlic. Crush and very finely dice the lemon grass if using fresh. Assemble the spices. Whizz white crustless bread in a processor or with a stick blender to make breadcrumbs. Set them aside.
- Drain the chickpeas. Squeeze the lime. If it’s dry, warm it quickly in a low oven or sit it on a radiator in winter or bash it on a surface and roll it around a bit. That should release the juices.
- Scatter the white coating flour on a large dinner plate or board. Lightly season it.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic. Cook over a low heat, stirring for 5 minutes or until soft, translucent and still uncoloured.
- Add the chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric, lemon grass. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the mushroom and lime juice. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, to soften. Tip the mix into a bowl to cool down. Meantime, semi-blitz the drained chickpeas with a stick blender/processor but don’t turn them to a paste. Retain some texture. Crush them with a fork if you like. Add to the cooling mix along with the breadcrumbs, Tabasco, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix with the fork.
- Coat your hands with flour to ease the shaping process. Divide the mix roughly into 6. Shape each section into a burger shape. You may need to wash/dry/re-flour your hands in-between.
- Put the burgers to chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat a large frying pan. Add olive oil. Fry the burgers for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. You want them to be slightly crispy on the outside and hot all through. If you’re making more than 6 you can fry them off in batches and keep the cooked ones warm in the oven at 180C until they’re all done.
- Assemble the burgers: lightly toast the rolls. Mix mayo with a little curry paste, crushed garlic and lemon juice. Spread onto the rolls. Add the burger, and some home-made raita (yoghurt and cucumber with crushed garlic). Or add guacamole, grated cheddar and tomato, shredded iceberg lettuce. Or an onion ring, curried mayo and a fried whole chilli.