Sweet Potato Chickpea Burger
It’s pretty well known that this root-vegetable is very versatile in use and you can’t really get bored of it. Use it in soups, salads and curries. You can mash, bake and sauté them – the sky is definitely the limit with this one. But guess what?! Sweet potatoes are even more awesome as hearty filling burgers. At first the thought of eating a potato as a burger was a bit odd, but in my food culture we eat a Bara or Vada Pav (a savoury lentil donut on a bun). So I figured a sweet potato burger would be an interesting experiment.
As a sweet potato burger 'virgin', I have seen lots of recipes on my Instagram feed, but I wanted to create a simple, yet flavourful burger with loads of textures. When it comes to these orange heros it’s obviously easier to get those pre-made burgers. However, making one that is packed full of spices and other yummy ingredients, is much more gratifying than store-bought material. Trust me on this one!
>> Looking for another tasty recipe with sweet potato in it? Try out my Sweet Potato Bacalhau Croquettes which is made with salted fish and combined with sweet potato - a perfect crispy bite!
When I thought about creating this burger, I looked in my pantry and instantly saw a can of chickpeas – another versatile ingredient which is high in nutrients and has amazing benefits. We use these canned goods a lot in our Hindustani kitchen. So I figured I wanted these mighty little legumes in my burger as well. By semi mashing your chickpeas and leaving some whole you create such a wonderful texture which allows a perfect bite!
But I always want more... So I when looked further I spotted some semolina (this is a coarse, purified wheat middling’s of durum wheat, which is mainly used for pasta, couscous or sweet desserts). My mom often uses this to coat chicken or fish nuggets and it gives an amazing crunch. I knew that this semolina was going to be a huge texture maker for my burgers!
Now imagine eating that soft sweet potatoey spiced substance, combined with a teasing hint of semi mashed chickpeas and a crispy semolina crust… Isn’t that all you want in a vegetarian burger?
My sweet potato chickpea burger recipe is quite a messy recipe. Yes, you will have to use your hands and yes, they will have an aromatic smell afterwards. So, if you just had a manicure it's wise to use some gloves! Either way, it will be very rewarding to see the smiles on your favourite people's faces!
TIP: Put some oil on your hands first before shaping the patty. This makes the shaping process easier and you'll get a rounder shape.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Burger
- Prep: 30 min
- Total: 60 min
Note: this recipe makes 3 giant burgers or 4 small ones. Double the quantities for more.
For the sweet potato chickpea burger
- 1 cup sweet potato mash
- ½ cup canned chickpeas (rinsed and semi mashed)
- 1 tsp Pimenton (smoked pepper powder)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp chili powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 small egg
- half of a small white onion
- ½ cup or more semolina
- sunflower/olive oil for frying
For the sauce:
- 4 tbsp mayo (I used Hellmann's mayonaise)
- 2 tbsp Piccalilli (If you don’t like this, a good mustard is also fine)
For the burger toppings:
- Halloumi cheese (I used Dodoni)
- spinach/lettuce leaves
- few slices of tomato
- few slices of red onion
- sprouts (optional)
- Put all the ingredients (sweet potato mash, chickpeas, spices, flour, egg, onion) in a bowl and mix very well. Make sure that you leave some of the chickpeas whole. The burger mixture will become quite sticky so it's best to put some oil on your hands first, before you divide the batter into either 3 or 4 burger patties.
- To give the burgers some more shape and a crunchy outer shell, I’ve chosen for semolina (you can also replace this with flour but you'll have a less crunchy texture). Put a generous layer of semolina on a plate and place a pre-formed burger patty on it. Pour some more semolina over the patty and shape the burger until it doesn’t stick (if needed add more semolina on your hands). Repeat this process with the rest of the patties.
- When you’re done making the patties sprinkle some semolina on a clean plate and place them all on it. Put the patties in the fridge for 15 min so they can firm up (you can also makes these the night before). After 15 min they are ready for frying. Place some olive oil in the pan and cook the burgers on medium heat for 3/4 min on each side until they are golden brown and warm in the middle. When they are cooked, you can place the burgers on some kitchen towel paper to release some of the excess oil.
- Slice the Halloumi into pieces that are 1 cm thick. Rub them with some olive oil and grill them in a hot grill/griddle pan for about 2/3 min until you get the charred marks. In the meantime you can toast your burger buns, prepare the sauce (mix the mayo and piccalilli), slice your tomatoes and onions. Or you can do this after you have cooked the burgers.
- When everything is ready you can assemble your burger the way you like it. Just make sure that the Halloumi remains warm, otherwise it can become quite chewy. I’ve enjoyed these burgers a lot and I hope you will too!
- Make bite size balls and serve this sweet potato and chickpea filling as a snack.
- Turn this into a vegan burger and replace the flour with tapioca starch and leave out the egg. If you want to coat the burger you can dip them into soy milk and dunk them into the breadcrumbs.
If you make my recipes please tag me in them and use #thespicedchickpearecipes. I'd love to see what you've made!