I’m delighted that commercial meatless burgers have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. You can’t beat a homemade bean burger, whether or not you follow a plant-based diet. The Mexican-inspired spicing of this squidgy black-bean version means it’s lovely with some ripe avocado, but I like a dollop of burger sauce and a slice of cheese, too. Both vegan, naturally.
Prep 40 min
Chill At least 1 hr
Cook 20 min
200g peeled and diced potato
50g podded broad beans (frozen are fine)
400g cooked black beans (drained weight)
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
½ red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
½ jalapeño or other mild chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 chipotle chilli in adobo, finely chopped (or 2 tsp smoked paprika)
Juice of ½ lime
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
3 tbsp cornmeal, to coat
For the burger sauce
12 cooked chickpeas
3 tbsp chickpea water (ie, the liquid in the tin or the cooking water)
150ml neutral oil
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp American mustard
4 burger buns, to serve (optional)
4 iceberg lettuce leaves, to serve (optional)
1 ripe avocado, halved, stoned, peeled and sliced, to serve (optional)
4 slices vegan cheese, to serve (optional)
1 Cook the potatoes and beans
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and cook the diced potato until tender. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, then cook the broad beans in the same water for five minutes. Drain, and then, when cool enough to handle, slip off the tough outer skins to reveal the tender green bean beneath.
2 Mash the potatoes and beans
Drain the black beans, if necessary, then put half of them in a bowl with the potatoes and mash together until fairly smooth; it doesn’t need to be a puree, but you shouldn’t be able to see any significant lumps. Add the remaining black beans and the skinned broad beans, and mash again, more roughly this time, leaving some intact.
3 Fry off the onions, pepper, garlic and chilli
Heat the oil in a small frying pan on a low-medium heat and saute the onion and pepper until soft but not browned. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño, if using, and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring until the garlic loses its raw smell. Add to the bowl with the bean and potato mixture.
4 Toast the spices
Put a dry pan on a high heat, then dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds for a minute or so, until fragrant. Grind to a powder with a pinch of salt in a mortar or spice grinder, then add to the bean mixture. Add the chopped chipotle or smoked paprika.
5 Finish off the burger mix
Squeeze in the lime juice and add the fresh coriander. Season and mix to combine. Taste the burger mixture and adjust the seasoning if you think it needs a bit more lime, salt or chilli. Using damp hands, form the mixture into four chunky burgers, put them on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6 Now to start on the sauce …
While the burgers are chilling, make the burger sauce. Put the chickpeas and their water in a narrow, flat‑bottomed jug or bowl slightly larger than the head of a stick blender, and whizz until smooth. Continue to whizz as you mix in the oil in a steady stream. (Alternatively, use the small bowl of a food processor.)
7 Finish the burger sauce
Once you have a loose, mayonnaise-like consistency (it won’t be as stiff as an egg mayonnaise, but more like a thick yoghurt), fold in the ketchup and mustard, then season to taste, adding more of either if you so desire. Chill until ready to serve; the sauce will firm up a bit in the fridge.