Chickpea burgers

Chickpea burgers, also known as falafel, take the same effort as frying their beefy cousins. The WHO has after much research declared that processed animal-products are definitely suspect, and all red meat "probably" causes malignant tumours.

There are concerns about legumes for those on ketogenic meal plans because of their starch; our stance is that it is refined carbs that need to be strictly limited. Those like chickpeas which have a very low glycemic index around 30 do not cause a surge in blood-glucose.

Chickpea falafel burgers.

This page was last updated 15th June, 2021.

  1. 2 cups of soaked, cooked chickpeas
  2. 1 punnet of mushrooms
  3. 2 shallots
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 3 TBSP wholemeal flour
  6. A couple teaspoons of your favourite herbs; perhaps parsley, origanum and cumin.
  7. 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. A generous slosh of olive-oil

That is a good enough reason for me to start using legumes for some of our 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 in which our cattle and pigs are raised today in feedlots, and fed on corn laced with growth-hormone. Cows naturally eat grass.

Today a patient brought me some organic venison; I have no fear whatsoever of it doing me in.

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 power; it is friendly towards our solar generator.

The future is a hob using gas combined with induction-plates; when I have sold another 100 books.

But truly organic meat is impossible to get with any assurance so it is academic; unless you personally know the farmer. That is one of the reasons we have joined Reko Hilton

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 due a very high level of trypsin-inhibitors but this falafel is delicious, digestible and very easy to cook.

As always with a chickpea dish, start by soaking a cup of the legumes overnight with ample wate; actually preferably 12 or more 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. Those suffering from a leaky gut should learn to sprout chickpeas, and even ferment them. That is how the folk from the East are able to eat soy; have you heard of miso?

Best it is done with a pressure cooker, if you are a busy person; then you can reduce the time by two-thirds to twenty minutes.


Here are the ingredients for falafel, if you prefer; I just call them chickpea-burgers. We now only use wholemeal flour.

The ingredients for making chickpea burgers.

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

Rick Riordan

My own personal experience is rather different. Falafel provides me with amazing satiety, that feeling of fullness. My own stomach doesn't growl for any food for many hours.

White channa

In India they are called white channa; but they come in many colours. They 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.

Go for it

  • 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 and the egg; the flour, shallots and garlic too.
  • Add your S&P, herbs and 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 wedge of coconut oil. Turn the heat up to moderately high.

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

We prefer to fry with butter, coconut and olive oil; others have different recommendations.

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.

Copy and paste "Olive Garden salad recipe" into Site Search above for more information.

Why are we so crazy about chickpeas also known as garbanzo-beans?

Along with all legumes, quaker oats recipes and apples, chickpeas number amongst the super foods in the battle against raised cholesterol. You really don't need to swallow statins with their nasty side-effects. Just enjoy several of these portions every day.

In fact science is now fingering refined carbohydrates as the source of our raised blood-fats; the cholesterol from your food barely affects the levels of triglycerides and LDLs.

So avoid refined carbohydrates; they are the real cause of obesity and heart disease. Neither eggs nor legumes need be feared.

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; then you will start to see light at the end of that very dark tunnel.

Interestingly the only meal-plan that I believe is truly sustainable and a healthy way to lose weight, the longevity diet, recommends low but sufficient protein except in the elderly; they must eat more to keep frailty at bay.

Chickpeas are also rich in phytosterols, high in vegetable protein and low in fat; full of soluble fibre that keeps you regular and helps to re-establish the intestinal microbes

Chickpeas are just one of the super foods. I am not a vegetarian, but why should they have a monopoly on all the good stuff? Oh dear, the ole fart doesn't follow even his own recipes, and yes, you probably spotted it. I left out the mushrooms.

Oh well, traditional falafel does not have mushrooms, and the family raved about them anyway, even my carnivore son, so we will make our burgers again this week. I froze enough of the cooked chickpeas for five more dishes, and our authentic hummus recipe.

Copy and paste "What are phytosterols" into Site Search for more information.


Clearly chickpea burgers need to be clearly labelled as a non-meat product.


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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 fats, butter and coconut for frying. Worse, meals high in polys causes inflammation in the body.

If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and blood vessel disease then food to reduce inflammation needs to be high on the agenda.

Useful links

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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.

That is partly because neurons in the brain need it to produce acetylcholine, a very important neurotransmitter.

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

Did you get that? Not just the rats themselves, but their offspring too.

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

They love the greens, especially spinach which is a great source of choline, and its metabolite betaine; much to the good wife's chagrin. She would like to see them confined to her chicken tractor design

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

Most 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