Today I made the best veggie burger that is not a cross between Aloo Tiki chat and Indian cutlet. What makes this more special is that this burger is homemade from scratch: the bun, the patty and the spreads I used. I would have probably grown the veggies involved in making this beauty if I had been able to but the credit for that goes to the hard-working farmers of central Alabama.
The recipe for the bun is from Smitten Kitchen. I did make a few changes but that was because I wanted only four buns (while the recipe made eight). The patty is another thing. I was completely tired of eating veggie burgers with patties made primarily of potato. Back home in Madras, we had quite a few joints that catered to the veggie crowd and they made the most amazing veg burgers I’ve ever eaten. But since this is a meat-eating nation, there aren’t many restaurants that cater to the non-meat eating population. In fact, when you ask for veggie burger in McD, they give you a bun with a lettuce leaf, a slice each of tomato, onion and cheese. I wanted to cry the first time this happened to me but then, I should have expected this. Burger King does have a veggie burger but after watching Fast Food Nation, we make it a point to avoid chains
Fast forward a couple of months later, the Mister and I found this wonderful pro-organic chain called Elevation Burger in the town where we used to live before moving down South. This joint was a dream come true for us. They made mushroom patties and they sure were yummy. Alabama, again, is a completely meat-eating state. Though the part of the city where I live is pretty upscale and health-conscious, healthy to them is white meat and turkey bacon, not vegetables or pulses. So out of sheer desperation I created this Red Bean Burger. And man, is it tasty!
Best Red-Bean Burger
3/4 cup uncooked red beans or one and a half cans cooked beans.
Half a yellow onion
Half a green pepper (aka bell pepper)
Ten button mushrooms
Half a jalapeno pepper
One pod of garlic, finely minced
Half a bunch of cilantro leaves (you can reduce the quantity if you are not a big fan) finely chopped
Mix together if you don’t have a Mexican chili mix-
Half tsp oregano
Half tsp cumin powder
One tsp paprika powder (replace with cayenne if you like heat)
One tsp each onion and garlic powder
If you are using dry read beans, pressure cook with one and a half cups of water and a sprinkle of salt. While that happens, chop the vegetables (including the mushroom) and saute them. Add a little salt (remember the beans have salt in them too) and the chili mix. Add the cilantro to the pan and mix together. When the beans is done, drain the fluid, mash up a little and add it to the pan. What you will have is a thick mixture that can be divided and molded into patties. Make four.
Switch the oven to the broil mode. Broil the patties on each side for five minutes. Grab the buns and get ready to attain patty Nirvana.
I made a yogurt sauce with mustard and salt and some nice guacamole spread with a Florida avocado I had. Slather the yogurt sauce on both sides, place a lettuce leaf, then the patty, add on slices of onion, tomato and cheddar cheese. This, my friend, will be known as the best veggie burger you’ve ever tasted!