Most bean burgers are frankly a mushy gooey messwith no texture, substance and right to exist. Many have tried, most have failed, and a few lucky ones have succeeded just once or twice. Well in a blinding flash of inspiration born of necessity and love of the noble bean the solution has been found for the Perfect Bean Burger - Every time.
Many have tried the white ones, cannellini, black beans, baked beans(yuck), kidney beans, black-eyed beans, but there is one problem with all of these - they are hard, lifeless rocks that even hours and hours of soaking will not render in to a piece of art. Thing fresh (of frozen if you must) Broad beans or fresh Faba Beans. The best ones are the ones pulled from your own pods, plucked from your own plot in the garden. Forget the childhood nightmares of parents force feeding boiled ones to you as a kid, in burgers they are fab - that's why they area called 'Fab-a-Beans'.
Small bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), or basil, or broad leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Juice of one small lime (or half a large one)
1 chipotle chilli or other hot chilli finely chopped, or 2 teaspoon smoked paprika or chilli flakes
1 jalapeno or fresh red chilli, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red pepper (or half a large one, finely diced
1 onion, peeled finely diced
Grape seed or Rice Bran oil for fry (or similar neutral tasting high smoke temperature oil)
1 teaspoon coriander (cilantro) seeds or powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds or powder
400g (14 oz) cooked black beans (other beans can be used - don't overcook - leave them 'al dente' with a little crunch and texture to avoid mushiness)
50g (2 oz) de-podded fresh broad beans (or frozen ones if you must) [Note: use more broad beans to replace the black beans if you like]
200g (7 oz) potato, peeled (only if washed ones are not available) and diced
2 tablespoons of cornmeal, to coat the outside of the burgers
salt and pepper to taste
(Optional: one whisked egg to bind the burgers - but not really necessary)
Makes 5 medium size burgers (multiply ingredients fro larger batches)
Cook the potatoes in boiling water with a little salt until just starting to get tender. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the fresh broad beans (or frozen ones) to the water and cook for about 5 minutes, until just barely cooked. Drain the beans, cool and remove the skins. Next, roughly mash the potato and half the black beans until well combined. Add the broad beans and rest of the cooked black beans and mix with a fork (don't mash to a mushy paste). Toast the spices in a hot dry pan until they release their aromas and flavors, then grind in a mortar and pestle, if you have one. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and cook the pepper and onion until just soft. Add the chillies and garlic and fry for 1-3 minutes. Combine the fried onion mixture with the
mashed beans and potato. Add the the lime juice, chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper and add the ground spices.
Shape into 5-6 burger patties. Then set aside for 30-60 minutes to help the ingredients combine together, so the burgers will stay together when cooked. Before cooking the burgers. bring to room temperature and roll each one in cornmeal to coat. Heat the frying oil over a medium heat and fry the burgers on a barbecue hot plate, griller or in heavy frying pan(in small batches 2-3 at a time) until golden on both sides. The ingredients are cooked and so the frying is mostly about warming through and browning both sides. Serve with salsa, chopped avocado or salad, top with a little cheese and a spicy sauce.