Protein Burger (Soy & Barley Burger recipe)

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 4 medium burgers 1x


  • 1/4 cup Barley grains (it yields a lot)
  • 1/4 cup Red lentils (optional)
  • 1/2 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)
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs (more or less depending on consistency of the mixture)
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 12 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 cup Water (and more)


  • Vegetable Oil
  • Burger Buns
  • Cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced Onions (optional – for caramelized onions)
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Mixed Herbs


  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 1/4 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


  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!