Bhaji Burgers

January 17, 2020
Family Verdict:


For the Bhajis:

3 red onions
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp garam masala (I was out so substituted mild curry powder which was I think an improvement)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp fresh coriander stalks finely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour
7tbsp water

For the Raita:

150-g/5½-oz pot of  yogurt (vegan if you want)
1 cucumber
fresh mint leaves picked
4 brioche buns
mango chutney
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Finely slice 3 red onions. Add them to a bowl with all the other bhaji ingredients. Mix everything together until it resembles a chunky, oniony batter. There will seem far too little "batter" to hold them together, but it works - believe me

Make your raita. Add the  yogurt to a bowl. Add a large handful of grated cucumber (squeeze the gratings to get rid of excess water), a handful of chopped mint and coriander leaves, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add a generous tablespoon of your bhaji batter. Flatten it out and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Cook 2 bhajis per burger. Take out and drain on kitchen paper while you cook the others

4. Cut 4 brioche buns in half and whack them under the grill  to toast up on the cut side (I used toaster with a bagel setting)

5. Assembly time. Add a big dollop of raita to the bap. Then add a bhaji. Then more raita, then another bhaji. Top with a big dollop of mango chutney and some mint leaves. Take a big bite and enjoy!


Well as we move through January and the resolve on meat free waivers (and occasionally weakens dear reader) then you sometimes crave a burger - or something like a burger anyway. As the elder two (who were the main supporters of the meat free initiative) hve headed back to Uni, then I find the struggle more difficult - not for me, because I am pretty open to this, but to find something that the younger two will also eat so that I don't just end up creating more waste.

So here is something I have made before. It's from the MOB Veggie book that the Eldest has and I must confess that it is very good. As a great fan of the Onion family, I find the caramelised onion here gives both the Umami and sweet notes that you are after in a burger alternative. The Raita may not be to everyone's taste, but it does serve a purpose - though on reflection I think I would just use it to sandwich the patties, rather than spread on the buns, cos it makes them soggy which is not what you want.

Anyway a good take, which should appeal to children and grown ups both. Being essentially a way of feeding 4 people with 3 onions it is also pretty economical, but at the same time filling. I served it up with coleslaw and sweet potato fries. I have not been a fan of these, but recently started to look for ways to make them to my taste (crispy and not too sweet) and am making progress. The obvious significance being they count as one of your five, where potatoes don't - and the Youngest likes them.....

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