Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Recipe: Vegan Curry Burgers

Yesterday I had a lot of mushrooms that needed to be used up and I wanted to try something different with them, so for inspiration I visited The Veggie Table, which is a very handy vegetarian resource web site filled with helpful hints, recipes and forums.

Usually when I have a lot of white button mushrooms I either do a stroganoff-type noodle bake, a risotto, pasta of some description or a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, but when I saw the recipe for curry burgers I knew I had to give it a try.

The burgers were easy to make and the combination of spices really complimented the mushrooms and made the house smell heavenly. I didn’t have any fennel seed on hand so I substituted garam masala powder, which includes ground fennel in the mix. Here is the recipe:

2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 med onion, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp fennel seeds (I was out of both fennel and anise seed so I substituted 1 tsp garam masala instead)
1 ½ Cup white button mushrooms, chopped
1 ½ Cup cooked and drained chickpeas
4 med carrots, grated
¼ Cup walnuts, chopped
3 Tbs cilantro, chopped (I didn’t have fresh cilantro at hand, so used 1 tsp dried)
½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Flour (for dusting your hands while forming patties)

1. Heat 1 Tbs oil and sauté onions over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about two minutes. Add coriander, curry and fennel (or garam masala) and cook for three minutes, then add mushrooms. Continue cooking and stirring for five more minutes.
2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and add chickpeas. Process in brief spurts until well chopped, but do not purée.
3. Pour into a large bowl and add carrots, walnuts, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Flour your hands and shape the mixture into five patties. I put mine on waxed paper.
5. Fry in 1 Tbs oil over medium heat for four minutes each side, until golden brown.

Yield: 5 patties

I prepared two of them and froze the other three patties for later use. I was impressed with their flavor and they held together better than I thought they would given their crumbly appearance. I think the next time I make them I will add chili powder in place of black pepper, just to give them an added kick.

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