Middle Eastern Burgers


Soaking the chickpeas overnight and then grinding them in a food processor makes them digestible without sacrificing their crunchy texture. If you’re in a hurry, though, they can be brought to a boil for several minutes, removed from the heat and soaked for an hour, or as time allows.

  • 9Servings


  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbs. seeded, finely chopped jalapeno peppers (3 to 4 medium)
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat bread flour
  • 9 6-inch pita breads, 1/2 inch sliced off to expose pocket
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-inch strip kombu
  • 8 sun-dried tomato halves (dry-packed)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, plus additional for brushing
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs. tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. grated lime or lemon zest


In large pot, combine chickpeas, bay leaf, kombu and 8 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, in water overnight.

In shallow bowl, combine tomatoes in boiling water to cover. Let stand until softened, 20 minutes. Drain, chop coarsely and set aside.

Drain soaked chickpeas, removing bay leaf and kombu (you can save kombu to use in soup, stew or other vegetable dish). Transfer chickpeas to food processor. Add 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper and pulse until finely ground. Add reserved tomatoes, parsley, mint, tamari and lime peel and pulse briefly to combine. With rubber spatula, scrape mixture into large bowl and set aside.

In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in cumin, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add onion mixture to chickpea mixture. Gradually stir in flour until well combined. Using 1/2 cup for each and packing firmly, form mixture into 9 round patties.

Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat gas grill to high. Place burgers on grill rack, brush with oil and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. To serve, stuff each pita with shredded lettuce and a burger, then drizzle with Lime-Tahini Sauce.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 358
  • Carbohydrate Content: 60 g
  • Fat Content: 7 g
  • Fiber Content: 7 g
  • Protein Content: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 930 mg