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The Protein Burger (healthy, wholesome & delicious!)

Did your New Year’s resolution to start eating ‘healthy & wholesome’ come crashing and burning down your ass already? :P Of course it had to! Who can survive on raw salads and soup?! Certainly not me! I like my food to be well cooked. Perhaps my Indian upbringing prevents me from nibbling on raw food… despite knowing the good it does for your skin! ;) But hey, if you want proteins – why eat a bean salad when you’d get the same (if not more) amount by eating this Protein-packed Burger? It is that time of the month again – when a bunch of us get together and cook according to decided themes. This month, for AGC – we decided to make something with lots of Protein. But instead of searching for a protein rich recipe, I did my research a bit differently. I looked out for grains, lentils, nuts, vegetables that had a high protein content. Then I designed a recipe using as many of those ingredients as I could. So, the stars of this burger are – Barley, Red Lentils, Soy Granules, Almonds, Cheese & Caramelized Onions!
If I had named the recipe “Barley Burger” – would you have read it? :D Probably not. But reading this, if you’re planning to close the page coz you have no intention of making a ‘barley’ patty for your proteins – then I’ll feel sorry for you! You must include whole grains with high protein content and fibre in your diet! Instead of making a boring old soup, I’m giving you THE most interesting way of cooking Barley! :D

As awesome as this burger is – make it on a weekend or a holiday.. Or at least do the prep work beforehand

Here’s what you need to make this Burger –
STEP I. Cooking Barley perfectly…

Barley isn’t your regular grain that can be cooked quickly. It is a much denser grain and requires hours of soaking time if you want it took cook faster. However, if you haven’t soaked it before, you can still cook it. It’ll only take double the time than if you would soak. I soaked the barley in water 6 hours prior to cooking it.

Before cooking, rinse the water out & wash the grain well

Add water 4 times more than the barley. Add a bit of salt so that the grains have some flavor

Bring it to a boil & reduce to medium flame. Let the barley keep cooking. If you had soaked it for a long time, it will be done in 20 minutes. If not, it can take upto 45 minutes to an hour. Just keep adding water little by little as the mixture becomes thicker. Keep adding until you are sure that the barley has softened. (Close & cook for lesser cooking time)

Meanwhile, wash your red lentils and soak in water too (if using)

Just 10 minutes before the barley is done, add the red lentils to the mixture, add a little more water.

Let it boil way for another 10 minutes or until the lentils have cooked.

You’ll notice that the whole mixture looks like a porridge and is sticky. The water (what is left of it) will be sticky too. Pass the mixture through a sieve to drain out as much of water as possible. Then add the lentils & barley to a large mixing bowl.

 

TIP: How to know if the Barley has cooked? – the grain should be soft and mashable when you try to mash it between your fingers. So keep boiling until it has reached that consistency.

Step II. Cooking Soy Granules

Soy is another great source of protein. Soy granules are the easiest ingredients to cook with and are one of the best source of protein. Add hot water to the soy granules. Let it sit in the hot water for 2 minutes.

Pass through a sieve and drain out the excess water. If you’re not too fond of the smell of soy, you can even rise the granules and squeeze out the water as much as possible.

Add the granules to the mixing bowl having Barley & the lentil.

 

Step III: Making the almond mint paste for flavor

To a blender, add mint leaves, green chilli, garlic cloves & almonds and a drop of water

Grind to to a fine paste.

Add it to the mixing bowl.

 

Step IV: Making the mixture for the Protein Patty

Add salt & pepper powder as per your taste & some garlic powder if you have any. You could use a potato masher or just your hands to mix everything up. While doing so, make sure you try to mash up the barley as much as possible. The mixture will (and should) be sticky so it’ll be easier to mash well.

Add breadcrumbs and cornstarch to the mixture. (adjust according to how the mixture is. If it is too sticky, add more of these two. But make sure the mixture isn’t too dry)

Mix it all up. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Refrigerate for at least 15-20 minutes.

 

TIP: You can make this on a weekend and store in the refrigerator (not freezer) for upto 3 days. So whenever you fancy, just shallow fry the patties & you have a protein packed burger instantly!

Depending upon the size of your burger buns, divide the mixture equally. Take each portion, roll it into a ball and gently press in the center to form a flat patty.

Heat 1 tsp oil on a pan (preferably non stick) and add the patty. Do not touch it. Let it cook on medium low flame on one side for 4-5 minutes or until it is crispy and releases itself.

Flip the patty and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.

 

Step V: Grilling (optional)

This is completely optional and you don’t have to do it if you’re short of time. But I just think an additional 3-4 minutes under the broiler or in the grill makes it even better! Its your choice, really!

 

TO SERVE:

Caramelized Onions (optional) – caramelizing onions brings out the natural sweetness in them and it is definitely a delicious topping for the burger. But you can absolutely leave this step out.

Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions.

Fry them on medium low – constantly mixing so that they don’t burn

Keep frying till they get a nice brown color on them. If you want a deeper brown color, fry them longer

To the lower half of the (toasted) bun, add some tomato ketchup

Place the patty on it.

Top it off with some caramelized onions (& a little extra herbs if you like)

Apply ketchup on the top half of the bun too. Close & serve!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Protein Burger (Soy & Barley Burger recipe)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 medium burgers
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Barley grains (it yields a lot)
  • ¼ cup Red lentils (optional)
  • ½ cup Soy Granules (can be substituted with lean ground turkey)
  • 4 Almonds (optional - extra proteins)
  • 1 cup Mint leaves (or cilantro / parsley)
  • 2 Green chillies (or 2 TBsp Hot pepper flakes - for spice)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 TBsp Cornstarch (more or less depending on consistency of the mixture)
  • ½ cup Breadcrumbs (more or less depending on consistency of the mixture)
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-2 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 cup Water (and more)
Others
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Burger Buns
  • Cheese (optional)
  • ½ cup sliced Onions (optional - for caramelized onions)
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Mixed Herbs
Instructions
  1. **TIP: You can make this on a weekend and store in the refrigerator (not freezer) for upto 3 days. So whenever you fancy, just shallow fry the patties & you have a protein packed burger instantly!
STEP I. Cooking Barley perfectly...
  1. Barley isn't a regular grain that can be cooked quickly. It is a much denser grain and requires hours of soaking time if you want it took cook faster. However, if you haven't soaked it before, you can still cook it. It'll only take double the time than if you would soak. Preferably, soak the barley in clean water overnight or for 5-6 hours
  2. Before cooking, rinse the water out & wash the grain well
  3. Add water 4 times more than the barley. (i.e 1 cup Water for ¼ cup Barley). Add a bit of salt so that the grains have some flavor
  4. Bring it to a boil & reduce to medium flame. Let the barley keep cooking. If you had soaked it for a long time, it will be done in 20 minutes. If not, it can take upto 45 minutes to an hour. Just keep adding water little by little as the mixture becomes thicker. Keep adding until you are sure that the barley has softened. (Close & cook for lesser cooking time)
  5. Meanwhile, wash your red lentils and soak in water too (if using)
  6. Just 10 minutes before the barley is done, add the red lentils to the mixture, add a little more water.
  7. Let it boil way for another 10 minutes or until the lentils have cooked.
  8. You'll notice that the whole mixture looks like a porridge and is sticky. The water (what is left of it) will be sticky too. Pass the mixture through a sieve to drain out as much of water as possible. Then add the lentils & barley to a large mixing bowl.
TIP: How to know if the Barley has cooked? - the grain should be soft and mash-able when you try to mash it between your fingers. So keep boiling until it has reached that consistency.
Step II. Cooking Soy Granules
  1. Soy is another great source of protein. Soy granules are the easiest ingredients to cook with and are one of the best source of protein. Add hot water to the soy granules. Let it sit in the hot water for 2 minutes.
  2. Pass through a sieve and drain out the excess water. If you're not too fond of the smell of soy, you can even rise the granules and squeeze out the water as much as possible.
  3. Add the granules to the mixing bowl having Barley & the lentil.
  4. Alternatively, if you are okay using meat, use lean ground Turkey instead of the above steps.
Step III: Making the almond mint paste for flavor
  1. To a blender, add mint leaves, green chilli, garlic cloves & almonds and a drop of water & Grind to to a fine paste. Add it to the mixing bowl.
  2. Step IV: Making the mixture for the Protein Patty
  3. Add salt & pepper powder as per your taste & some garlic powder if you have any. You could use a potato masher or just your hands to mix everything up. While doing so, make sure you try to mash up the barley as much as possible. The mixture will (and should) be sticky so it'll be easier to mash well.
  4. Add breadcrumbs and cornstarch to the mixture. (adjust according to how the mixture is. If it is too sticky, add more of these two. But make sure the mixture isn't too dry)
  5. Mix it all up. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 15-20 minutes.
  7. Depending upon the size of your burger buns, divide the mixture equally. Take each portion, roll it into a ball and gently press in the center to form a flat patty.
  8. Heat 1 tsp oil on a pan (preferably non stick) and add the patty. Do not touch it. Let it cook on medium low flame on one side for 4-5 minutes or until it is crispy and releases itself.
  9. Flip the patty and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  10. This is completely optional and you don't have to do it if you're short of time. But I just think an additional 3-4 minutes under the broiler or in the grill makes it even better! Its your choice, really!
Caramelized Onions (optional) - caramelizing onions brings out the natural sweetness in them and it is definitely a delicious topping for the burger. But you can absolutely leave this step out.
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions.
  2. Fry them on medium low - constantly mixing so that they don't burn
  3. Keep frying till they get a nice brown color on them. If you want a deeper brown color, fry them longer
TO SERVE
  1. To the lower half of the (toasted) bun, add some tomato ketchup
  2. Place the patty on it.
  3. Top it off with some caramelized onions (& a little extra herbs if you like)
  4. Apply ketchup on the top half of the bun too. Close & serve!

Check out what my friends are cooking this week – Roshni, Priya S, Priya M, Radhika, Anusha, Veena & Jayanthi

About the author: Food blogger-writer, Recipe developer, Food Lover, Picture-taker, Lover of Nutella, Accountant, Dancer, Singer… and a happy soul!

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jayanthi February 21, 2013, 11:51 am

    My my…..I just had my dinner and you are making me go hungry again. The burger and the step-by-step picture are so appetizing. Good one Kavi!

  • Amelia February 15, 2013, 8:49 am

    Hi Kavi, wow… love your burger, it look awesome. Very healthy version. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

    Have a great week ahead,regards.

  • Monali February 14, 2013, 10:48 pm

    Just loved this recipe!! I eat Barley soup a lot.. & I’m bored with it.. but now I think I’m going to make this! It looks delicious!

  • Runnergirlinthekitchen February 8, 2013, 7:01 am

    This is a real healthy and super deilicoius burger!

  • Priya Sreeram February 8, 2013, 6:25 am

    thumbs up to the barley soy patty kavi- it is a major turn on. And yes the pics are stunning too ; the first pic speaks volumes :)

    • RK February 8, 2013, 9:43 am

      Better turn on than McDreamy or McSteamy? :P

  • julie February 7, 2013, 8:36 pm

    looks a real filling burger..yummy with the protein pack,Kavi:)
    Love to see your recipe linked up in Flavors Of Cuisines-“Mexican”

  • Vimitha February 7, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Healthy in every bite

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