Veggie Burger

By Meera Vasudevan

Serves 4  | Prep time 20 minutes |  Cook time: 20 minutes

If you’re totally vegetarian or trying to increase the meatless days in your week, you’ve probably discovered by now that one of the big summertime pleasures in America – the burger patty on the grill – becomes tough to do without meat. Or does it? 

I set out to understand how I, a total vegetarian, could enjoy a home-cooked burger and not feel like I just ate something that belongs in the ‘Meh’ category. If you don’t know the ‘Meh’ category, here’s how Wikipedia defines it: Meh is an interjection, often used as an expression of indifference or boredom. It can also be used as a verb (rendering something uninteresting, boring or useless to the beholder) and an adjective (meaning mediocre, boring, or apathetic). ‘Meh’ brings to mind beige sweaters, radio shows on the two-toed sloth… and soy burger patties! 

Since I’m a believer in the ‘let’s rock this meal with spice’ school of cooking, I decided to take the ‘Meh’ out of vegetarian burgers. In fact, to boldly go where America shudders to go : join ‘vegetarian’ and ‘burgers’ in one sentence! So, after many taste tests of veggie burgers in the market – in restaurants and branded products from the grocery freezer – and after poring over various cookbooks on the subject, here is a version that I think works pretty well in a tastebud-popping way.


  • 2 lbs potatoes - boiled, coarsely mashed
  • 1 can chickpeas OR 12 oz cooked chickpeas, coarsely mashed
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley or cilantro leaves – finely chopped
  • ½ onion – finely diced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder or paprika powder (depending on your ‘heat’ tolerance
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tsps lemon juice
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

Your 4 Step Method: 

  • Combine all the above in a bowl gently, adding the breadcrumbs at the end and mixing through.
  • Form burger patties by hand
  • Cover patties and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours. Can be left in fridge overnight if you wish to make it a day ahead.
  • Spray oil on your grill pan, set out the patties and grill until nicely browned and sizzling, flipping once midway to get both sides evenly grilled. Add a little oil to the flipped over side if needed. If using the broiler in your electric oven, set on ‘High’ and grill for about 15 minutes or until well browned and then flip over and grill the other side until well browned. Yields around 6 - 8 burgers

Stove Top Method: Lightly oil griddle or skillet and pan-fry patties, flipping over once so both sides get well browned and sizzling. Add a teaspoon of oil midway as needed, so the patties do not stick, burn or get dry.
Serving Size: 2 Burgers

No comments:

Post a Comment