I discovered a taste for Coronation Chicken when I was still in primary school, finding a tub of the pre-made deli style stuff in my parents fridge and, after a tentative sniff, decided to try a little of it with my undoubtedly disgusting small-child finger. And I LOVED it. I begged my parents for it, queer little thing I was. Not that I knew its delightful secrets at the time, but the combination of sweet sticky mango chutney with a creamy sauce and subtle spice, spiked with fat juicy sultanas, became one of my favourite things. As a teenager, walking 14 miles to and from school on occasion accompanied by my slightly older brother, I would spend the bus fare we saved on a tub of it from the corner shop, dumped unceremoniously over a bag of chips and eaten with my fingers. And then I grew up, and promptly forgot all about it.
This burger is a homage to the humble and delightful Coronation Chicken, yet no monarchs were crowned nor chickens harmed in the process. I make it with chickpeas, but cannellini or butter beans would be a fine substitute.
Makes 6 decent sized patties at 13p each
1 large onion, 8p (90p/1kg, Farm Stores at Asda)
400g tinned chickpeas (240 drained weight approx), 39p (39p/400g, East End at Asda)
50g raisins or sultanas, 9p (90p/500g, Smart Price at Asda)
2 slices of any kind of bread, 6p (60p/22 slice loaf of basic white, Asda)
2 tsp turmeric, 3p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC)
1 tsp garam masala (or cumin or coriander), 2p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC)
a pinch of chilli flakes or powder, 1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp mango chutney, 8p (60p/250g)
2 tbsp cooking oil, 3p (97p/1l, Asda)
First peel and slice your onion and pop it into a large, wide frying pan. Add a teaspoon of oil or fat of your choice and cook slowly on a low heat to start to soften them.
Drain and rinse your chickpeas and add them to the pan, along with the raisins. Cook everything low and slow for around 6 minutes, and then tip it into a large mixing bowl. Lightly clean out your pan but don’t worry too much about it – you’ll be using it again shortly.
Add the spices and seasoning to the mixing bowl, then mash the chickpeas and sultanas and onions and spices thoroughly to a pulp with a fork or masher.
Grate the bread into crumbs using a hand grater (or blender/food processor if you have one). Pop them into the bowl along with the mango chutney, and mix well. Put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to chill and form – this is important, as the burgers will fall apart in the pan when you go to cook them otherwise!
When the burger mixture is nicely chilled, remove it from the fridge and shape it into patties by forming a piece into a tight ball, then flattening it gently in the frying pan. Cook for 5 minutes on one side on a medium heat, and 3 minutes on the other. You may need to cook them in batches. Serve in a bun however you fancy – I added extra chutney, a dash of mustard and a handful of lettuce to mine!
Uncooked patties can be frozen – simply shape them as above and place them on a baking tray or in a tupperware-style container, separated by a lightly oiled freezer bag or piece of greaseproof paper. Once frozen they can be transferred into a bag or tub to use as you wish.
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All text copyright Jack Monroe.