Sunday night dinner - Chickpea Basil burgers
Whoever said TV dinners cannot be healthy? These burgers are perfect TV food to pile on a plate and curl up on the couch watching your favourite soap or movie. This recipe is another discovery in my quest for high protein vegetarian recipes. The food and dining section of NYTimes, Guardian, WashingtonPost is my regular haunt not only to see the food trends around the world, but invariably I stumble upon some interesting stuff. The recipe of Spinach and Chickpea burgers from The Washington Post is what inspired me to come up with this version.
We all love burgers, at least most of us. This one is way easier than the mixed vegetable burgers, where you have to clean, cut and prepare an assortment of veggies. This one has just two main ingredients - chickpeas and potatoes. Add to this your favourite greens and spices and you have some really filling burgers ready. Eat them as it is, or as an open sandwich or inside a burger bun. Choice is yours. Pair it with slices of fresh cucumber and tomatoes, lettuce if fresh ones are available - to make up for the lack of vegetables in the burger. I like it with a kick of sharp mustard like Coleman's but ketchup, barbeque sauce, pepper sauce, anything is fine.
Chickpeas are vegetarians' best friends to catch up with protein requirements. Not to mention how loaded in fibre and folic acid they are. Two of these patties provide 25% of your daily fibre requirement and 35% of your folic acid requirement. Combine chickpeas with rice or bread and you get a high quality protein from the meal from a combination of various amino acids. The fibre content not only keeps your full for longer but also helps lower bad cholesterol. Fibre also makes sure your sugar levels go up gradually and this is of special benefit for diabetics.
- Pressure cook the chickpeas with 2 cups water for 8 minutes or so. (After 3 whistles, lower the flame and keep on sim for 7-8 minutes).
- Drain and mash with a heavy mortar or till coarsely mashed in a food processor.
- In a large bowl, mix mashed chickpeas, potatoes, chopped basil, pepper, salt, red chilli powder.
- Sprinkle gram flour or bread crumbs if the mixture is too wet.
- Divide this into six balls, flatten into thick patties and place on a lightly greased non-stick tava / skillet on a medium flame. Grill each side for 5-7 minutes, till golden brown using little olive oil.
- Remove and keep aside.
Lightly toast the bread for the burger on the same hot skillet. Apply mustard on both slices. Place the cucumber and tomato slices, cheese slice and place the hot burger on the top. Cover with more salad if you like and a slice of bread or the other half of burger bun.
Eat / serve immediately.
If you mash the chickpeas in the food processor, make sure you use the 'pulse' function so it does not turn into a paste, after which it will be tough to shape them into burgers.
You can prepare these upto the 'shaping into patties' stage and freeze them keeping a layer of cling film / butter paper in between and directly grill them on the pan for a weekday dinner.