Don’t let the vegetarian burger be the poor cousin at the barbecue. Spices, lemon and the almost nutty flavour of the kumara combine with chickpeas to make a meal everyone will enjoy.
400 grams purple-skinned kumara, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon each ground coriander and smoked paprika
1 x 400 gram tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup packed coriander leaves, chopped
finely grated zest 1 lemon
sea salt and ground pepper
4 hamburger buns, toasted or grilled
any of the following toppings: lettuce, avocado, grated raw beetroot or carrots, sprouts, tomato, feta, onion jam
Cut the kumara into rough 2cm pieces and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well and tip into a large bowl then crush roughly with a fork.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook until very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute.
Add to the kumara, scraping in all the spiced oil from the pan.
Put the chickpeas in a shallow dish and crush well with a fork, picking out the skins that fall off. Add to the kumara, with the coriander and lemon zest and season well.
Mix everything together until well combined but not totally smooth. I find clean hands are best for this. You want the mixture to have some texture.
Form the mixture into 4 patties the same size as the buns. Cover and chill until ready to cook. The patties can be made 2 days ahead.
To cook: Heat a barbecue flat plate to medium then oil lightly. Cook the patties until they have a good golden crust then turn and cook the other side.
Spread the buns with mayonnaise then top with the patties.
Add the toppings of your choice and serve immediately. Makes 4