Minnesota .... Thank you for having me back! I am humbled.
This time, I'll be demoing my favorite Veggie burger at one of my favorite spots -- Eastside Food Co-op. They are one of the first places here to put my special spice blends on their shelf - and because of that, I'm committed to coming up here from Chicago to give them some spicy love back.
This week, I'm showcasing one of my favorite legumes - Black Chickpeas - or Kala Chana.
It's one of the four legumes we offer through Indian As Apple Pie because you cannot usually find them on a mainstream grocery shelf - and I always wonder why. Black chickpeas are just so delicious and there is so much you can do with them.
Black chickpeas are smaller than their counterpart - the white chickpea or garbanzo bean. And, their texture is a bit 'meatier', making it heartier when you process them into veggie burgers or kabobs. It's easy to cook up using my tips below.
Cooking Instructions: 1 cup dried kala chana (black chickpeas). Soak 1 hour in boiling water. Drain. (You can reserve the rich, brothy cooking liquid for soups later - It's delicious!) Simmer on the stovetop in 4 cups water for 45 minutes to one hour. If you want to use your pressure cooker, put the drained beans in your pressure cooker, add 4 cups water, and pressure cook on the HIGH setting for 15 minutes. 1 cup dried chickpeas = 2 1/2 cups soaked and drained = 3 cups cooked.
Black Chickpea Burger
3 cups cooked black chickpeas
4 ounces firm tofu
1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 - 2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoons water
Put all ingredients into a food processor. Grind until smooth. Mold into patties. I used a tablespoon measure to scoop out the mixture to keep them perfectly sized.
You can cook this mixture as is in a shallow pan with a little oil. Or add, some chopped onion, green chiles, and cilantro - mix through - and then cook up.
I love keeping a batch in the fridge to pull out and cook up as needed, where the mixture will last about a week. Freeze whatever you don't use for later.
Tikka Spiced Vegan Mayo
1 cup vegenaise or mayo
2 tablespoon Tikka Masala
salt to taste
Mix well and use to top your masala burger! We love using our Tikka Masala - typically a simmering sauce -- as a condiment. It will add just the right amount of Indian to your burger.
July 4th and grilling season is around the corner. Now you're ready with yet another vegan-veg option. Enjoy!