Falafel Burgers

There’s a new fast food joint in town … only this one is a little different. Pilpel have opened at three sites. I was in the area of St Pauls recently thought I’s give it a try. Lunchtime at Paternoster Square was a little manic and a bit confusing at first but well worth it. The staff have been trained to fill a bowl with a selection of salads, five hot falafel and chili sauce in record time. I think it took about 15 seconds to put my meal together … seriously. Delicious, absolutely delicious.

So I thought I’d try a variation of this at home (home being some way from St Pauls or the other branches at Spitalfields), making burgers rather than the usual small balls of ground chick peas and spices. the flatter shape of the burger also lends itself well for shallow frying rather than the traditional deep frying method.

I cheated and rather than trying to invent my own, I used Paul Gayler’s recipe from the Daily Telegraph’s New Vegetarian column. Yeh I know. Not a newspaper one would generally associate with a vegetarian readership, but I guess it shows how mainstream meat free eating has become and how it is not just something for the loony left, sandal wearing, lentil eating, 2CV drivers out there, as it was when I last ate meat.

I used brown bulghar as I was unable to find kasha. I guess you could use porridge oats, ebly or something similar too.

This makes 4 large burgers

200g bulghar wheat
400ml vegetable stock
1x400g tin chickpeas – drained
1 courgette – grated and squeezed in a cloth to get as much liquid out as possible
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
1 tablespoon green coriander – chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tablespoons gram flour (use plain white flour if you don’t have gram)
Olive oil for frying

Place the bulghar in a bowl, add the stock and leave until all the liquid has been absorbed. Place everything except the oil in a food processor and blitz until it forms a paste – not too much as you want it grainy rather than smooth.

Shape into four large burgers. If you prefer you can do eight smaller burgers. Place these in the fridge for a couple of hours to dry out and hold their shape.

Take a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil then fry each burger for 5-7 minutes each side unitl browned.

Serve with salads in a bap or with warm pitta bread and natural yogurt.

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