Deciding upon the dish for the first post hasn’t been easy. After much up-do, I decided to pen down on potato free vegetarian burger. This simple yet appetising recipe easily fits into breakfast, snacks or simple dinners. Such versatile and balanced comfort food it is!
Remember the days when you got introduced to burgers in India? In most of the towns, Mc Donald’s burger had been the only burger known to many, until recent times. It was the staple go-to lunch option on most of my weekends during college days. Crazy food habits, I agree. But, now I crave for flavours in every bite of food I eat or prepare at home. The standard potato filling that goes into a vegetarian burger was quite unsettling to my taste buds. So, I decided to recreate a burger with some uncommon, yet healthy vegetarian filling.
In the course of my research, I found this amazing recipe of Beetroot and Feta Burgers on Jamie Oliver’s Foodtube which led me to Stephen and David Flynn’s (@thehappypear). Trust me, if you are one of those like me, crazy and curious about cooking or relishing food, I would suggest you to follow these guys. Their recipes are trouble-free and nourishing as they appear. Beet burger was one of such recipes and I couldn’t wait trying it. I made few adjustments to the original one like substituted freshly prepared paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) for feta (for feta is not easily available in India). It was one recipe I made for like two batches in the very same week and ate it in rolls, burger buns, rice and as it is too! Trust me; it’s hard to go away with the addiction of mint and beetroots melange! Eating a patty without potato felt awesome on the taste buds and since then beetroots have become my new favourite pick in weekly grocery shopping hauls.
- 2 cups – grated beetroot
- ½ – 1 cups – crumbled paneer/Indian cottage cheese
- 10nos toasted walnuts – coarsely chopped
- Mint leaves – ½ cup (tightly packed and chopped roughly)
- Finely chopped onions – 1/3 cup
- Chopped green chillies – 1 tbsp (Original recipe doesn’t call for them, I like spicy food, so had to add them)
- Any Oil – as required (1 tbsp for sautéing and little more to roast the patties)
- Salt – as required
- Lemon juice – 1to 2 tbsp
- Breadcrumbs – 1/3 cup (I put in roughly pulverized Britannia rusk/toasts)
You can prepare them at home or use the ones readily available in all supermarkets. Pav Buns work just fine for this recipe. Slit them into half and roast them on a medium flame a little before setting up the burger. For those who wish to prepare the pav at home, can try out Dassana’s recipe of ladi pav from the ‘veg recipes of India’.
Pavs are Indian burger buns that go well into making of street food snacks like Pav bhaji, Vada pav, Missal Pav etc. For my recipe, I used the tutti-fruitti buns bought earlier to dunk in tea. Sometimes, laziness to source perfect things brings out the creativity in us. : P After all, jugaad (Indian word for hacks) is quite essential with foodie experiments.
I used what I had at home then. You may use any kind of veggies that suits your liking – Lettuce, capsicum, tomatoes, cucumber, etc.
- Heat the pan and add 2tbsp oil.
- Add the grated beetroot and onions and chopped green chillies into the pan.
- Sautee the beetroot on medium heat till it sweats and gives off sweet smell. This would roughly take 5- 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take the paneer into a large mixing bowl and add chopped mint leaves into it.
- Add the beetroot mixture from the stove top into the bowl.
- Now, sprinkle salt and breadcrumbs and walnuts and mix them lightly.
- Splash some lemon juice over it, mix. Shape them into balls or patties (flat discs) depending upon where you wish to use them.
- The finished patties can be roasted on stove with some oil or baked in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 25 minutes.
- Place them in between bun with your favourite veggies and sauces or have them along with mint chutney or tomato ketchup. You can also roll them into a nice wrap using rotis (Indian flat bread).
I slided a sunny side-up in the middle to add in some proteins to my meal and ate more tomatoes and cucumbers to fill up on salad portions. Next time in quest for a lunch idea with continental twist, go for it. It would be an interesting mashup for the picky tiny tots too!