Monday, April 18, 2011

Bombay Burgers

Re-gifting.  Some people try to justify it by calling it charity or recycling.   C’mon, let’s be honest.  Re-gifting is when your inner-thrifty-shifty self gives a gift that is actually just something from the dregs of your closet or attic.  In the context of thrift stores, this is awesome.  But it’s worth it.  Someone has already paid all the overhead charges, and you buy the product simply for what it’s worth.  I don’t expect to get re-gifted by my grocery store.  Curry powder is your local grocer’s re-gifting scheme.   
 Curry is not an individual spice.  It’s a more generic term for a blend of spices, most often a combination of turmeric, coriander, and cumin.  I am not too distraught about it though – the burgers ended up delicious.  Hopefully, the curry powder creation was intended to make things easier (of course, at a price). 
Now for the real kicker: the Bombay Burger is entirely meatless.  Before your arteries unclog and your “vegetarian alert” comes on, let me tell you – a “burger” made from kidney beans, bread crumbs, sauces and spices still packs a hefty taste.   Initially, the burger has a savory Indian spiciness.  Halfway through, you realize that every bite requires its own exclusive spot in your stomach.  If you eat a ½ pound Bombay Burger, you will feel like you ate a solid ½ pound of food.  The aftertaste left my tongue blanketed with curry.  If only the heavy pounding of a tablespoon of cumin had not left such an unpleasant spiciness…  Bottom line: less cumin, and do not eat or serve the burger entirely plain. 
  My meager toppings the first burger were only a fresh slice of tomato and some sliced onions.  A cream-based sauce was what was missing.  Originally, I had thought some tzatziki sauce would do the trick.  I have not yet had the opportunity to experiment with that one, but I did create a Tomato Dill Sauce to go with my leftovers (rough recipe below).  
 NOM! With the sauce, the burger was bangin’.  You tasted peppery spiciness, without having it knock out your taste buds.  On my second Bombay Burger go-round, I found the burger to be warm and ‘meaty’, and the chilled sauce and fresh tomatoes to be light and relieving.  Appropriate year-round, these ethnic burgers show off how filling and satisfying non-meat burgers can be.   

Bombay Burgers (Adapted from the blog: Voracious)
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
2 T olive oil
¼ cup water
3 T A1 Steak Sauce
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp cumin
1 T curry
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp Sriracha (or Asian Hot Sauce)
½ cup bread crumbs
(About) ½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp cornmeal

1.       In a food processor or blender, combine beans, olive oil and water.  Blend until beans are well mashed and smooth.  Scoop into large mixing bowl.

2.       Add steak sauce, soy sauce, cumin, curry, garlic, and black pepper.  Mix thoroughly. 

3.       Season with paprika, cayenne and sriracha (this is where you can make it more or less spicy).

4.       Add in bread crumbs and ¼ cup flour, mix.  (If you need more flour, add it). 

5.       Knead with your hands for about 3-5 minutes.

6.       Roll burgers in cornmeal to help from sticking to hands.  Form bean mixture into 4 patties.
7.       In a 9 inch skillet, heat about 2 T olive oil over medium high heat.  

8.       When oil is hot, place patties on skillet.  Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the outside is firm and compact.  
Serve with a Creamy Sauce, no bun needed.                                                              Makes 4 patties

Tomato Dill Sauce
2 heaping T sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste
1.       Combine all ingredients and serve chilled over burger. 
Makes enough for about one burger.

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