The Definitive Vegetarian Burger

I have never eaten the authentic meat burger - beef or otherwise.  I am a vegetarian by birth and a eggetarian by choice.  So my recipe may not taste anything like "the authentic burger".
I have had a huge variety of vegetarian burgers though, greasy, subtle, in your face spicy, bucolic grass healthy... the works. At a wide variety of places McDs, Street Corners, Restaurants of varying starhood...
And that qualifies me to come up with my own version of how a veggie burger should be.
Even if it doesn't qualify me to claim the title definitive for it :)

The venture was inspired by my promise to Gau to make him a good burger for his lunch box.I went overboard and did everything from scratch, the bun, the sauce and the patties.

Burger Patti
300g potato, cooked, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup dry beans (I used Karamani, anything would work) soaked overnight, cooked and drained.
1 medium sized onion- finely chopped
1 medium sized capsicum - finely chopped.
2 green chillies - finely chopped
1 sweet lime - zested and juiced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese - I used paneer made with yogurt and a combination of milk and cream
1 apple peeled and grated
1 tbsp oil divided
1 tsp jeera  (cumin)
Salt to taste
handful of mint leaves washed and coarsely chopped
Mint Masala or Garam masala to taste (optional, I added it to Gau's patty alone)
1/2 cup Fine semolina or Breadcrumbs for rolling the patties (optional, I forgot! ended up with less shapely sloppy joe sort of patty, but tasted fine.)

  • Chop the zest finely
  • Heat 1 tsp oil and jeera and when it pops add the onions, green chillies and capsicum and fry until onion is brown. cool.
  •  mash everything together except for the oil and the breadcrumbs/semolina if using.
  • shape mixture into 4 - 8 patties and roll them in 
  • Heat a non stick pan, add a little oil, place the patties (as many as comfortable to place and turn)
  • Cook on medium heat until browned on both sides, 3 - 5 minutes per side.

A runny homemade ricotta cheese 1/2 cup
3 green onions, green part only chopped
1/3 cup chopped coriander, leaves and tender stem
1 green chilli finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Blend everything to a somewhat coarse mix...


I used the olive oil crust from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. With modifications ofcourse :)

2-3/4 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoon fresh yeast
1-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil
3-1/2 cups atta

3 cups maida
The previous evening I had mixed the dough and let it rise for 2 hours before putting it in the fridge.

The original recipe specified 7.5 cups flour, but whole wheat absorbs more water I guess, I had to stop at about 6.5 cups.

Next morning, I dusted my hands with maida, just pulled out about 80 g of the dough then kneaded it on a well dusted counter before rolling it into a ball shape.  I made 6 such balls and had dough leftover for a pizza next day.  I placed the balls on a well dusted plate and flattened it a little.

I let it rise again for about 90 minutes.  The brushed with milk and sprinkled it with black sesame seeds.

Formed patties before rising
patty after rising

before baking, egg washed and sprinkled with black sesame
Ready to Serve

Lettuce leaves washed and torn.
CHeese slices
Tomato sices - toasted on the non - stick pan
Onion slices - toasted on the non-stick pan
Tomato Ketchup or Chili Garlic sauce

ofcourse patties and our green onion sauce too :)

SLice the bun, toast the cut sides and apply the onion sauce on one half.
Place the patty, lettuce, cheese, tomato, onion and ketchup or chili sauce
Cover with the other half.

Use a potato peeler to lightly peel the sweet lime for the lime zest;  Much less of a struggle than using a grater you have much better control over the depth of zest you are peeling.

Add a little cheese - I used homemade ricotta, but processed Amul would work just as well - to the patti, other than binding the veggie burger beautifully, it also adds a necessary creaminess I suspect meat burgers with their higher fat content would have.

Finely slice the green chillies and saute it along with the onions until the onions are almost brown.  The occasional sharp bites of the chili plays off beautifully against the tanginess of the zest, the sweetness from the fruit and the fat from the cheese
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