Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Veggie Burger - Ready in 45 minutes

I am not kidding, just to keep myself honest, I actually put the timer and counted down as I went through the exercise of making these delicious home made burger buns for the 'I have lost count' th time I am making them since I discovered this no-fail recipe. What is there to not like when you can have a 'made from scratch, 100% whole wheat, just like the Burger Joint bread' and feel completely safe knowing the ingredients that went in? Just for the fun of it, I also made my chick peas patties to go with the burgers and with a little bit of planning and multi tasking, had both the burger buns and patties ready to be eaten in under an hour. Go ahead and try it out yourself, and don't forget to time it so you can vouch for that 45 minute burger buns next time :-)

Here is a confession: I don't eat burgers outside home, first it was the hesitation of it not being vegetarian and then it was the fact that the veggie patty tasted so tasteless, I would rather eat something else. We discovered Subway quite early when we came to US, it being one of the joints I could easily go in and ask for a vegetarian sub and could see the ingredients that went into making my sandwich - such a relief :-). Infact, one of my down town office buildings had a cafeteria in the ground floor and Subway was one of the vendors there. The guys were so used to a group of us vegetarians that they would very sweetly put on new gloves before starting to assemble our orders. While this may be the norm in many places to avoid cross contamination, I really appreciated the fact that they did it every time even during the busiest of lunch hours. While I love the whole grains and Honey oats bread Subway serves, I still stick to my veggie fare and an occasional avocado but never get the veggie patty ever since I tasted a bite out of DD's sandwich once. It tasted bland and the texture didn't seem right.
Then I saw the masala veggie patties at Trader Joe's, if I haven't told you before, I love that store. DD loved the patties and it was easy to sandwich it between 2 slices of bread for her breakfast or lunch. Like always, I tried to read the ingredients, break down the taste and recreate it at home. First time I made it, it was almost like the regular Indian tikkis and DD didn't seem convinced. Though she ate it, she was like 'this is so not a burger' :-), I started experimenting and also changed the base to use chick peas. This patty is loaded with vegetables and the best part is you can throw in pretty much any vegetable you like or have on hand in addition to any combination of spices/flavorings - Indian or International. Chickpeas make the bulk of it and give it a wonderful taste.

Once the patties was sorted out, experiment with the bun recipe started. Indulge me a little bit here, since I am baking at home, I feel it necessary to find a recipe that meets all of my criteria - for health and taste. I know I can be such a sore sometimes. I kept looking for a healthy burger bun recipe that was easy to make and found a seemingly easy version here. First time I made it following the recipe to tee, used AP flour and an egg. The buns were delicious but my trained nose could smell (imaginary!) the egg. Next time, I skipped the egg completely and the buns didn't seem to mind it at all. Buoyed by the success, I went ahead and replaced AP flour with wheat flour and out popped delicious smelling buns that looked just liked the ones you get in the stores. I have reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe since we don't like the buns to be tasting so sweet especially when I am assembling them with veggie patties.

If you haven't come across this recipe on the internet, take my word and book mark this post. This is one of the easiest (no additional gluten etc needed), no-fuss (I have made this in Summer, winter and every season in between and have always got delicious buns) recipes ever. Bonus being, there is no knead, no long rise time so you can make this at the last minute too. And what about health quotient - did you see me adding butter? I rest my case.
What do you need to make the buns?
Makes 10 medium size buns
3c whole wheat flour
1.5 Tblsp yeast
1C+1 Tblsp warm water
1/3 c oil
2 Tblsp sugar
1 Tsp salt

How do you make the buns?
0-2 mins:
  • Warm water (30 seconds in microwave), Dissolve yeast in water, set aside until foamy.
  • Preheat oven to 425F.
2-5 mins: 
  • Add oil, sugar and salt - give it a good mix with a spoon. 
  • Add flour, a cup at a time stirring until incorporated. The dough is not sticky but soft.

5-9 mins:
  • Knead for 3-5 minutes until soft and pliable.
  • Make 10 equal sized balls from the dough, shape them without crease lines, slightly flatten them to avoid a sharp peak on the bun.
  • Prepare 2 cookie sheets by spraying a light coating of non stick spray.
  • Arrange the buns on the cookie sheet keeping the balls about 3 inches apart.
  • Cover with a cling wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.
30-40 mins:
  • Bake @ 425F for 8-10 minutes turning once halfway for even cooking.
  • Take it out and let cool on racks for 10 minutes before slicing.

What do you need to make Chickpeas burger patties?
Makes 12 patties
2 cans or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup finely chopped green beans
1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 green chilies
1 piece ginger
1 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp red chili powder
1/4 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tblsp wheat flour
2 TBlsp olive oil
1-2 Tsp oil to brush
How do you make Chickpeas burger patties?
  • If using canned chickpeas, rinse them well before using.
  • Take chickpeas, ginger, green chilies, chili powder, black pepper powder and salt to the blender and pulse them into a coarse crumble.
  • Add wheat flour and olive oil and run the blender for a few seconds until it gets incorporated.
  • Take the mixture out into a bowl, add all the remaining veggies, mix well and do a taste test.
  • Divide into 12 portions and shape them into patties.
  • Heat a plain griddle or grill pan, brush the patties with a couple drops of oil on both sides and roast them on medium heat until cooked well on both sides.
  • These patties can be frozen upto a month, use wax papers to layer them and store in a box.
How do you enjoy (the most delicious) veggie burger?
  • Take a bun, slice in half, start with a layer of lettuce, add a patty, top it with sliced onions, tomatoes, cucumber (anything else you fancy), some ketchup or mustard. Put the top half of the bun, press it lightly.
  • Hold it in both hands, take a bite to include all the layers and chomp away.
  • Ensure you have good quality, potent yeast. Once you add it in, if you don't see it foaming on top within a couple of minutes, discard and start over.
  • Addition of wheat flour in the patties makes it absorb moisture and makes the patties firm and hold shape. You can add soaked and squeezed bread slices instead.
  • If using dry chickpeas, soak them in water over night, cook it in pressure cooker with 1/2 Tsp salt and a pinch of baking soda until soft but firm.


NamsVeni Pothas said...

wow very delicious colorful burgers. mouth watering and tempting too. nice buns with healthy burgers.

Anonymous said...

awesome inviting burger. I am terribly hungry.
indu srinivasan

LG said...

Next, pack them and send them to me :P Super agi ide Nagashri.

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Homemade is always best...great you made even the buns from scratch..should try sometime..the burger looks very tempting

Anonymous said...

Fabulous... When r u starting a home delivery :)

Priya Suresh said...

I always crave for homemade burgers, wat a nutritious patties, fantastic you have done everything from scratch.

Shanthi said...

Awesome and tempting

Swathi Iyer said...

Delicious bun and patties awesome.