Tunisian Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Burger w/ Harissa Aioli

Here is another easy veggie burger recipe for you. A Tunisian Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Burger w/ Harissa Aioli!  Warning! This is a spicy burger due to the harrisa so if you can’t take the heat, use less harissa, Sriracha or make this standby “special sauce” I make for my kiddos, which is mayo and ketchup mixed together and then add a pinch of cayenne.  It won’t be the same without the harissa, but if spicy isn’t your thing, it’s a pleasant alternative. 

This burger is incredibly tasty deriving its flavors from the Tunisian Spice Blend which consists of coriander, cumin, caraway seeds, and crushed red pepper (optional… well because it’s already spicy!).  I shredded carrots in my food processor and then added the chickpeas, grated onion, garlic, oat flour, and the Tunisian Spice blend.  Mix with a mixing spoon or your hands (even better) and fry on high heat.  Add toppings. Simple and easy.

I am convinced that these days consumers are opting to make their own veggie burgers instead of purchasing frozen pre-made ones.  When I was a strict vegetarian years ago, frozen veggie burgers were my go-to quick meal for lunch and/or dinner.  I didn’t read labels as much as I do now, so I wasn’t paying attention to the sodium content and the products used in the ingredients.  In my mind, I was eating healthy because it had the word veggie in the name.  I’ve since learned that there is a difference between being healthy and thinking you’re being healthy.  Nowadays, restaurants are making their own house-made veggie burgers with kick ass ingredients. There is an arsenal of plant-based veggie burger recipes that can be downloaded and whipped up in minutes in your kitchen, including this one 😜.  The possibilities are endless and equally tasty! 


Tunisian Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Burger w Harissa Aioli//serves 4

2 cups grated carrot (about 5-6 carrots)
2 cans (15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ cup oat flour
2 tablespoons Tunisian spice mixture (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and pepper

tunisian spice mixture//makes 6 tablespoons
adapted from Epicurious
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Finely grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, and crushed red pepper in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.  Do ahead: Can be made 1 month ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature.

quick harissa aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons store bought harissa (I used Trader Joe’s Harissa)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the harrisa, stir together mayonnaise, harissa and lemon juice.  Spread harissa on each bun.

Massaged kale
Red onion

In a food processor fitted with the shredding disc, grate the carrots and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Switch to the blade, and add the rinsed and drained chickpeas, grated onion, garlic cloves, oat flour, spice mixture, and salt and pepper.  Mix until combined.  The mixture should be thick and hold firmly together.  Heat a grill pan to high and add oil.  Form the mixture into 4 ¾ inch-thick patties.  Grill until cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side.  Serve the burgers immediately with the toppings and harissa.