Chickpea burgers

Chickpea falafel burgers.

Chickpea burgers, also known as falafel, take the same effort as frying its beefy cousin. The world health organisation has after much research declared that processed animal products are definitely carcinogenic, and all red meat probably is.

That is a good enough reason for me to start using legumes for protein after watching the misery that so many around us are going through.

What is not clear is whether it is red meat per se, or the way our cattle and pigs are raised today in feedlots, fed a high corn diet laced with growth hormone.

This page was last updated 15th May, 2020. This page was built a long time ago; we still had one of those archaic electric coil stoves. Today we would use an induction plate which cooks twice as fast and uses half the electricity; they are solar generator friendly.

But truly organic meat is impossible to get with any assurance so it is academic.

That is not only in our practice, but also for friends and relatives; hormone replacement therapy is a large part of the problem in women too.

Personally I love burgers but; with an eye on keeping my red meat consumption down, I have been looking at alternatives.

Soybean burgers are perfectly horrid, but this falafel is delicious and very easy to cook.

As always with a chickpea dish, start by soaking a cup of the legumes overnight with ample water. Actually preferably 12 to 15 hours. Rinse several times to reduce flatulence and heartburn. 

Cooked chickpeas freeze very well, so always soak and prepare several times the amount you actually want for your burgers.

Soaking and rinsing helps to reduce the effect of so-called anti nutrients like lectins, should you be concerned. I am not if you are on a healthy diet.

Best is done with a pressure cooker, if you are a busy person; then you can reduce the time by two thirds to about half an hour.


Here are the ingredients for falafel, if you prefer; I just call them chickpea burgers.

  1. 1-2 cups of soaked, cooked chickpeas.
  2. 1 punnet of mushrooms
  3. 2-4 shallots
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 3 TBSP flour. I am going to try using wholemeal in future.
  6. A couple teaspoons of your favourite herbs: perhaps parsley, origanum and cumin
  7. 1-2 cloves of garlic, and a slither of chili if you like it hot.
  8. Half tsp salt, and a shake of freshly ground pepper.
  9. Generous slosh of olive oil.
The ingredients for making chickpea burgers.

"The scent of fresh falafel wafted out. True, I’d eaten falafel just a few hours ago, but my stomach growled because... well, more falafel."

Rick Riordan

White channa

In India, they are called white channa; but they come in many colours. The Indians like to add tomatoes and favourite spices such as garam masala, ginger and freshly ground coriander; perfect for chickpea burgers too.

Growing coriander incidentally is a cinch, and then you have fresh cilantro for your salads every day too.

How it's done

  • Boil (or pressure cook) the soaked chickpeas for an hour and a half. Drain and rinse several times. Sample a couple to make sure they are soft, otherwise your burgers will give you indigestion.
  • In a mixing bowl, add your white channa, mushrooms, egg, flour, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper, herbs, olive oil.
  • Using a hand blender, chop all the ingredients into a coarse thick paste. Add more olive oil if necessary.

  • HOW TO GROW CHILLI - you only need one plant.
Chickpea ingredients for falafel in a bowl.

Into a large heavy-bottomed pan add a good dollop of butter and a slosh of coconut oil. Turn the heat up to moderately high.

  • Crack another egg into a soup bowl, beat with a fork, adding a little water.
  • In another soup bowl add a little flour.
  • Make the paste into patties, flour them lightly, drop into the egg batter and then into the hot butter.

We prefer to fry with butter, coconut and olive oil.

Start cooking chickpea burgers with butter in a pan.

Olive garden salad recipe

Enjoy your chickpea burgers with an olive garden salad recipe; the perfect balance of protein, healthy carbs and fat.

Enjoy your chickpea burgers with a salad from the olive garden.
  • Olive Garden salad recipe ...

Why are we so crazy about chickpeas aka garbanzo beans?

Along with all legumes, quaker oats recipes and apples, in fact all fruit, salads, and eggplant, chickpeas number amongst the so-called super-foods in the battle against raised cholesterol. You really do not need to swallow statins medication with their nasty side effects. Just enjoy several of these portions every day.

And avoid refined carbohydrates; they are now being fingered as the real cause of obesity and heart disease.

If you are obese, then remember that over half of protein is glucogenic; when digested it turns to blood sugar. In your ongoing battle, reduce starch drastically, and even chickpeas moderately.

They are also rich in phytosterols high in vegetable protein, low in fat, full of soluble fibre that keeps you regular; just one of the super foods. I am not a vegetarian, but why should the vegans have a monopoly on the all the good stuff, he? Oh dear, the ole fart won't follow a recipe, and yes, you probably spotted it. I left out the mushrooms.

Oh well, true falafel does not have mushrooms, and the family raved about them anyway, even my carnivore son-in-law, so we will make our burgers again this week. I froze enough of the cooked chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans, by the way) for five more dishes, or probably our authentic hummus recipe.


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Chickpea burgers

Chickpea burgers make a delicious high protein red meat substitute.

Your falafel burgers go first into flour and then egg before frying.

PolyUnsaturated seed oils  (PUFAs)

Seed oils are far less stable at high temperatures, than mono-unsaturated oils and saturated oils. Use butter and olive oil for frying. Worse, a diet high in polys causes inflammation in the body. Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis? Ulcerative colitis? Blood vessel disease? Food to reduce inflammation ...

Useful links

  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Foods that lower cholesterol
  3. Chickpea burgers

Choline food sources

Your chickpea burgers are incidentally one of the excellent choline food sources; that is one of the B vitamins that the typical Western diet is more than 50% deficient in.

In pregnancy that means a much higher incidence of birth defects; choline is also very important in brain development, partly because of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.

Interestingly, the offspring of pregnant rats fed a diet high in choline food sources never got Alzheimer's disease.

Being one of the few privileged to share a property with my daughter and her family, I have started free range cage free eggs from the garden to supplement their choline from chickpeas. 

They love the boss' greens, especially spinach which is a great source of choline, and its metabolite betaine; much to her chagrin; they should be confined to her chicken tractor design

Hens into their greens provide the eggs for our chickpea burgers.

Mostly likely the reason why choline has such a profound effect on the brain is not only to do with acetylcholine, but also because betaine is a vital compound needed to detoxify homocysteine, a breakdown product of protein metabolism. Research shows it is implicated in cardiovascular disease and senile cognitive impairment.

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Hilton, KZN

South Africa