A delicious break from meat with tasty warming lentils and chutney
Today was the first day I was off in a good few weeks, and I spent the morning making Christmas cakes and the house was full of lovely spice smells. We had been away for Saturday night at McNean House enjoying the most amazing creative food I have ever tasted. The result tho’ was that I didn’t fancy cooking too much and wasn’t into having fish or meat for dinner. I was casting around for ideas and decided to make bean and nut burgers as I hadn’t had them for ages. They are pretty simple to make and very tasty – even my friends who are usually meat eaters have enjoyed them. Today to heat them up a bit, I added a teaspoon of an Indian spice mix I make – you could use your favourite garam masala. I usually make a mango salsa with these but today because of the Indian slant I made a mint and green apple chutney and a dish of dhal on the side. It was delicious and really filling – even my hungry husband was full!
The Mint and Green Apple chutney is a real winner as a side to any meat dish and great as a dip for parties.
Nutty Bean Burgers
Serves 3-4 hungry people
1 small onion
1 garlic clove peeled chopped and crushed
1 tin (approx 400g) of red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 tin (approx 400g) of butter beans rinsed and drained
50g chopped mixed nuts
1 tbsp soy sauce – I used pearl river bridge light
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Peel and chop the onion finely
Heat oil and fry the onion, garlic until softened
Add the beans and fry gently for about 5 minutes
(At this point I added 1 teaspoon of spice mix and cooked for another 2 minutes to cook the spices- optional)
Transfer to a food processor and pulse gently to form a rough paste
Transfer to a bowl and stir in soy, lemon juice, nuts and season generously.
Cover and set aside to let the flavours develop – preferably for about an hour
Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into patties
Heat a little oil in a heavy based frying pan and fry the burgers for a minute on each side until golden brown.
At this point rather than keep frying to heat through, I transfer to a hot oven for about 10 minutes.
Mint and Green Apple Chutney
This chutney is fantastic with lots of dishes – chicken, lamb and it adds a lovely kick of heat.
20g picked Mint leaves
20g picked coriander leaves
1 green apple cored and sliced
1 green chilli top off and seeds removed
Juice of a lime
1 cm piece of peeled ginger
Water to loosen – 3 or 4 tbsp
A pinch of sugar
Tip everything into food processor and process until completely smooth. This will take at least a minute or 2. You will need to stop at times and scrape the mix back down into the mixer.
Tadka Daal – Seasoned Yellow split peas
250gr yellow split peas
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp mild chilli powder – I use Deggi Mirch
2 tbsp of chopped tomatoes (From a can)
Cook the lentils with salt, turmeric and 1 litre of water or stock until the lentils are soft and cooked. This can take about 30 minutes or so unless they are part cooked in which case it will be about 10 – 15 minutes.
When the lentils are almost cooked, heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the garlic until it is medium brown. Add chilli powder and fry gently for about a minute.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a further few minutes.
When the lentils are cooked, add this seasoning to them and stir gently to incorporate. Finish with the chopped coriander.