Oct 10, 2010

Veggie Burgers

Once in a while I like to eat burgers and this is a result of that craving and also because there were too many veggies at home!

This is my version of a healthy burger. Of course you can go ahead and buy the frozen ones from the store but if you're crazy enough like me you'll like these better.

You need:
Any kind of vegetables. It's better to use a few of the starchy veggies so they all hold together.
Sweet Potatoes
Raw Bananas

Onions (optional)
Garlic (optional)
Chilli Flakes / Red Chilli Powder

1/2 cup soy granules if you like

Rice Flour

Steam all the veggies and mash them up.

Chop up the onion and garlic. Sauté them with the herbs and a little bit of water or oil till the onions are caramelized or dark brown.

Soak the soy granules for 5 minutes in some water. Once the veggies are steamed, you can grate
them up or mash them all together. Drain the soy granules off the excess water and mix them with the vegetables. Add the onions, herbs of your choice, the red chilli, salt and mix it well. It's best to use your hands for this.

Make them into your burger patty shapes and put them in a plate with some rice flour. Cover up them up.

In a flat frying pan, put about 2 teaspoons of oil. Once hot, start putting the patties in.

Cook both sides till dark brown like in the picture on the left.

Have it with some burger bread, salad leaves, diced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, with some mustard and pepper on top.

I put it on white bread (picture on the right) with vegetables and
grilled it all together.

Yes that is a cucumber, almost the size of the patty! It's an organic cucumber grown on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Oct 5, 2010

Vegan Peanut Pesto

Pesto is a paste/ sauce, made usually with Basil, Pine nuts, Cheese and Olive Oil. Basil is now easily available here and if you're not growing it in your herb garden, you should start now!

Since pine nuts are not grown in India and are pretty expensive, I prefer to use something that is locally available and doesn't affect the taste at all. Actually, pesto can be made with any type of nut (cashews, walnuts, almonds, peanuts)

Here's what I used:

A handful of basil leaves
A handful of roasted peanuts
A teaspoon (may be less than one) of sea salt
A clove of garlic
A teaspoon or two of olive oil
A pinch of black pepper

Blend everything and it's done.

Serve it with some cooked plain pasta, or on top of toasted bread or as a dip for some raw veggies or in your salad dressing or in your tomato based pasta sauce or with some cooked rice. The possibilities are endless.

I just had it with some plain Penne. *Bliss

Vegan More Kozambu (Buttermilk Gravy)

More Kozambu (pronounced More Koyambu) is a typically South Indian gravy that is usually made with More (Buttermilk). It is a spicy, sour mix of buttermilk and red chilli with vegetables.

This one is made with Peanut Buttermilk. It sounds complicated, but its's worth the effort.

So to start off, you need a cup of peanuts. Soak it in water over night. The next morning, drain it and put it in a blender with 2 cups water. Strain this pulp and what you get below is Peanut Milk. You can put the pulp back in with 1/2 cup water, blend it one more time and strain it out.

The Peanut milk now has to be set like you usually would set cow's milk. You could use dairy yogurt as a starter, but strict vegans prefer not to. So I set it with Rejuvelac. I'd suggest you soak the peanuts and the wheat at the same time, so the next morning you can use the rejuvelac to set the milk into curds. You might not get the same consistency as dairy curds the first time around. But if you continue to use this as a starter to set further trials of peanut or soy milk even, the end result will get thicker as time passes.

Since we are going to use it for a buttermilk type preparation, it's okay if the milk sets into a watery state. It takes about 8 hours for the peanut milk to set. I still get some curds that look like it's set on top but when you stir it there's only a watery mess below.

Seems like a lot of work! Anyway, once you have your (somewhat) set curd you can stir it up if you're going to use it as a buttermilk.

The buttermilk can also be made into a vegan Masala Chaas (Buttermilk with Masala)
Just add some Asafoetida, grind curry leaves and some green chillies together, salt and water. Chill it and have it after your meal. It's really really good!

For the More Kozambu, you need:

Any vegetable (carrots, red pumpkin, capsicum, drumstick) I used White Pumpkin which was steamed earlier
2-3 Red chillies
a little Tamarind
1 tsp rice flour
1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)
1/2 Teaspoon oil (optional)

1 cup Peanut Buttermilk (recipe above)
Curry Leaves

Grind the Red Chilli, Tamarind, Fenugreek seeds and the rice flour. In a saucepan, add this mixture to some oil or just add it in the hot saucepan. Stir it around a bit. Add the Peanut Buttermilk, the vegetable, salt and water.

Let it simmer for about 6 minutes. Garnish with curry leaves. And it's ready to be served!

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