Iv have been working in hospitality for 10 years now and have been lucky enough to work in London, America, France, Namibia and Mozambique as well as home, South Africa.
I am realizing more and more how closed the majority of South Africans are to plant based foods. Of course there are many that are moving that way and some that are open to trying, but I have found that most, compared to Europeans, still want a big chunk of meat on their plate and some even still joke that chicken is salad.
I also realize that if you have been cooking certain meat basted recipes for 40+ years of your life, it is really hard to come up with new, plant based ideas.
So I thought I would start giving some good old favourite meat dishes a plant based twist and see how it goes. One thing I really struggle with is moving away from gluten and keeping the flavour and texture how I want it. But I actually don't have anything against a bit of flour here and there.
So here is my take on a burger pattie made from plants.
Ingredients: Makes 8 small ones and 2 large patties
110 grams drained and dried kidney beans
250 grams roast sweet potato flesh
Half an onion diced
1 garlic clove diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Half a teaspoon English mustard
Half a teaspoon dried red chili
Salt to taste
Sunflower oil for frying
Put your oven on 180 degrees Celsius and pop in a large sweet potato in just like that in its skin and leave to bake until its soft. It will take around an hour. I sometimes boost my oven up to 200 if I'm feeling impatient.
When the sweet potato is close to being done start prep on your other ingredients. Chop the onion and garlic and put it in the blender, with the spices and mustard. Drain the kidney beans and dry them with paper towel and put those in. When the sweet potato is soft. Peel the skin off and weigh out 250 grams and add into the blender too.
Wazz this up until its quite smooth but still has some texture. Put oil in a frying pan, enough to cover the bottom with about 5 mm of oil and put on to warm up. Roll your patties into the size you want and dust in flour. If your mixture is too runny then add some flour into the mixture. Turn the oil to high and make sure it is sizzling by dropping a little crumb in and make sure it bubbles a lot.
Put the patties in the oil and fry on either side until they are crispy and dark brown.
I served mine with roast brown mushrooms instead of buns, tomato relish, avocado, lettuce, red onion and jalapenos. I also roasted some potato, carrot , butternut and beetroot fries to go with it and a fresh watermelon and mint cocktail.