Gopal’s Famous Vegie-Nut Burgers

These burgers are much loved in my family. I have been making them for the last 25 years. They are so wholesome – rice, lentils, vegetables and peanut butter with spices and herbs. This much loved recipe comes from the famous chef Kurma Dasa of the Hare Krishna movement. It’s from his book Great Vegetarian Dishes, a book that’s been used so much that it smells of food!

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Though the recipe calls for brown lentils, I found that brown chickpeas are actually more tasty. I don’t know if these dark coloured chickpeas are found outside India. They are perfect for this burger patty. Once you make this burger, you really won’t miss the meat. It’s really rich and satisfying. I usually make it in bulk and store it in the freezer. The patties are baked and then pan-fried. You could also shape them into rolls and serve them hot-dog style. Either way, they are a real comfort food.

To make this a vegan dish, you just have to substitute vegan mayonnaise/tahini instead of the cream and omit the eggs. You could also use any sauce of your choice, like tomato ketchup, etc. You could also use herbs like basil and oregano with parsley. This recipe makes 16 burgers.

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PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup cooked short-grain rice (it should be sticky)

11/2 cups cooked brown lentils/chickpeas, drained

½ cup carrots, shredded coarsely

11/2 cups breadcrumbs

½ cup peanut butter

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp Chinese sesame oil

2 tsp fresh mint, chopped

2 tsp fresh curry leaves, chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp yellow asafoetida powder

½ cup fresh coriander, chopped

1 tsp red chilli powder

To assemble

Barbecue Sauce

Lettuce leaves

Tomatoes

Boiled eggs, chopped

Sour cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Process the chickpeas in a food processor until they are coarsely mashed.

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead well.

Pinch off 16 portions of the mixture, roll them into smooth balls, and with wet hands, press them into 3-inch patties.

Arrange the patties on a lightly oiled baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake the patties for 15 minutes and turn them over until they darken slightly and dry out somewhat.

The burgers can now be refrigerated or frozen. Pan-fry them in butter or oil until they are hot, then use on bread rolls with your favourite sauces, salads and toppings.

I used some barbeque sauce which is a lovely combination with this burger, lettuce leaves, tomatoes, boiled eggs and sour cream to assemble the burger.