For those of you that know me you’ll be fully aware of how I struggle to muster up a huge amount of enthusiam for vegetarian food. Don’t get me wrong, I can totally appreciate the benefits: sustainability, ethics, health etc etc. I eat A LOT of vegetables cooked (or uncooked) in a myriad of different ways, I cook meat/fish free pasta sauce, I make lots of vegetarian soups, snacks, sandwich fillings, the list is endless but if I’m cooking or going out for a “proper” “full on” meal it will almost always include meat or fish. In fact, the only time it doesn’t is if I’m cooking for a vegetarian, this was one of those very few occasions- it’s a good job I like her 😉
I found this recipe in the food section of a magazine (Fabulous mag I think) a while ago so tore it out and saved it with my vege friend in mind. I was also given the River Cottage Veg everyday cook book as a present by a (my only) vegan friend so I now have plenty more meat-free material should I so wish. I’ve already earmarked a few of the recipes… to serve as an accompaniment to a meat or fish dish, mahahaha.
This recipe felt like fucking hard work for some reason, perhaps because I don’t have a food processor. Must.buy.food processor. Don’t be alarmed by the long ingredients list, a lot are just standard spices which most people, that are frequent cooks, will have. I had them all *SMUG*.
150g of cashew nuts
1tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 onion, finely chopped
2tsp cumin seeds
1tsp ground turmeric
2tsp ground coriander
2 large garlic cloves
1 egg lightly beaten
1 heaped tbsp yoghurt
Salt & Pepper
Plain flour for dusting
For the relish
6 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 long red chilly, seeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
2 tbsp of lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 180, put the cashews on a baking sheet and roast ’til golden (about 6-8 mins)
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until softened, add the cumin seed and fry for another minute then stir in the turmeric and ground coriander. Blend to a coarse paste in a food processor (i sort of mashed it about with a fork which did a good enough (ish) job. Then spoon into a bowl.
- Grind the cashews in a food processor (I put them in freezer back and bashed them with a rolling pin, no doubt making my neighbours hate me more than they already do) until very finely chopped then tip into the bowl with the onion paste.
- Add the garlic, carrots, breadcrumbs, egg & yoghurt. Season with salt & pepper and mix together.
- Cover a plate with the flour, and with floured hands, divide the mixture into 4 and the shape into burgers, dusting them with flour until lightly coated. Put on a plate and chill in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up. (I ignored this part as mine were pretty firm and the chips were nearly cooked)
- Preheat your grill to high and line a tray with foil. Brush the tops with oil.
- Grill for 8-10 minutes turning halfway through and brushing with more oil until golden.
- While they’re grilling make the relish, mix the tomatoes, chilli, red onions, chopped herbs and lime juice in a bowl. It should look something like the photo below.
I served the burgers with sweet potato chips cos they are piss easy to make and delicious, literally cut them to the thickness you want, toss in oil and bake in the oven ’til they look like the ones below.
- Take the burgers out from under the grill when they are about the same colour as the ones above. I put them in a toasted bun with melted cheese to try and fool myself that they were a proper burger.
My vege’ friend pronounced them to be “heaven in a bun”… but then she is a vegetarian. I did like them, enjoyed them even, but they will never EVER replace a good old beef burger in my affections.