Vegetarian Bean Burgers


As we were growing up in Malawi, we rarely used to have the western fast foods, i.e. burgers, chips, onion rings etc. Then when we moved over here to England, we tried a few of these fast food places, but were always sceptical because we never really knew what the ingredients were and how it was made. Being a vegetarian, who does not even eat eggs, sometimes the fast food places that serve vegetarian burgers leave us wondering is it really vegetarian?? I have enjoyed the Burger King spicy bean burgers in the past, and have also tried various brands of frozen vegetarian burgers at home. Each one has their own unique way of presenting the vegetables and other ingredients, and hence each one gives a different taste. So I tried to recreate them at home, and came up with my own version instead which is filled with lots of vegetables and  herbs, packed full of flavour. After many attempts at trying out different quantities of ingredients and many a broken patties, due to not binding very well, I finally perfected the recipe to what I thought was good. At least I know what I am putting in and can adjust the taste to what we would enjoy, this way the doubt at the back of my mind is not there. For this recipe I am posting I actually had to measure all the ingredients as I normally just put everything together đŸ™‚ I guess the ultimate compliment was when one of our niece’s friend tried them recently and was really amazed to know that I had made them at home as opposed to the ready made ones that you just pre-heat. It is at times like this that you know you have done well…

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Vegetarian Sizzler

A sizzler is made on either clay or iron plates, they are heated and various different cooked foods are placed on it and when it starts to sizzle it is ready to be served. It is a good winter dish to have, as it remains hot for a long time. I have had many vegetarian sizzler’s and they have all been interesting, however I guess I am biased with this version as I grew up with it. Another reason why the taste is so good is because of using clay plates as opposed to iron plates, the flavours are absorbed more and it dries up the gravy more so that enhances the flavour. If you break it down and look at it, it is just rice, beans, curries and chips, however the combination works well for our family. It has become a Christmas meal favourite for some years now, like a tradition. Each of the individual curries used in this recipe can be eaten as part of a meal also i.e. with chapatti (rotli) and rice. So in effect in this one recipe I am giving you four different curry recipes đŸ™‚

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Red Kidney Beans Curry (Bhanda)

As I was growing up most of our Sunday meals was having “bhanda and bhat” – Kidney beans curry and rice (In Malawi, Bhanda is the chichewa word for kidney beans). This would sometimes be accompanied with fresh white bread or thepla (a spicy chapatti/roti). The most comforting of meals and satisfyingly filling. There are many nutritional benefits to these beans, they are excellent in folic acid, iron, protein, thiamine, potassium and B vitamin to name but a few.  It is the traditional  staple food of the people of Malawi, they would have it with a cornmeal mash and not so spicy beans, to make a complete meal. This is one of the few foods that I miss if I do not have it over a long period of time. It is also eaten in Northern India where it is know as Rajma, not to mention it is used in Mexican and Cajun food also.

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