Cow Pea Hemp Burgers

There had been two ingredients sitting in our pantry for many weeks, demanding my attention: cow peas and crushed hemp seeds. Couple of days ago I finally made some burgers using both the peas and the seeds. Cow peas are brownish red, but otherwise they look just like black-eyed peas. They are actually the same species as black-eyed peas, and they taste very similar to each other. Hemp seeds I had never tried before, but when I finally opened the package of crushed seeds and tasted them, I was very positively surprised. They have a nice, mild taste. Anni thinks it’s a very sophisticated flavor, and I agree!

We thought that the burgers turned out really well. The Indian-style spices, the earthy flavor of the cow peas and the delicate taste of the hemp seeds made a delectable combination. The burgers were served with a side of potato wedges, garlic yogurt sauce and some lettuce.

There are many reasons to use hemp seeds. First of all, they are a complete protein source, just like soy bean and quinoa. Also, unlike soy beans, hemp can be cultivated in Finland too. After making this dish, I realized there’s a third reason as well: Its mild, easily combinable taste makes it a great ingredient in plant-based cuisine.

This is what I used:

  • 500 g boiled or canned cowpeas, mashed (about 1 cup or 2,5 dl of dried cowpeas)
  • 1 dl ground hemp seeds
  • 3 tablespoons gluten flour
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander
  • 1 fresh chili, minced (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • olive oil for brushing

First I set the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. I heated the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and fried the onion until translucent. Then I lowered the heat, added the garlic, turmeric, cumin, and coriander, and stirred them into an oily paste. I continued to fry and stir for maybe a minute more, and removed the paste from the heat.

Next I simply combined all the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, added the paste from the frying pan, and kneaded the mix with my hand for a minute or two, until a delicate dough was formed. Now I spread some baking parchment on a baking sheet, and rolled eight balls from the dough, which I proceeded to tap between my palms into burgers.

I placed the burgers on the baking parchment, and brushed them with olive oil on both sides. I baked them in the oven for 30 minutes, 15 minutes on both sides. Before flipping them over, I brushed them with olive oil again. Together with the burgers I baked some potato wedges on a separate baking sheet, the burgers on the upper rack, and the potatoes on the lower rack.