Recipe by Sarah Ward
Veggie burgers may have a reputation for blandness, but these are packed with flavorful curry powder and other spices. They have plenty of texture, too, thanks to the squash and chopped chickpeas. We recommend using a mild curry powder (or combination of sweet and mild), so as to not overpower the tomato chutney. For a quick and easy lunch or dinner anytime, cook a batch of burger patties and freeze them, then reheat them as needed in the microwave or skillet. The chutney can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks or processed and canned to keep for use throughout the year.
Yield: 1 pint tomato chutney // 6 burgers
- 3 Tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil
- ½ white onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced, or ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- ½ tsp garam marsala
- ¼ tsp ground aleppo or red chili pepper (such as Ancho)
- ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 lb Napa Grape or other grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp sherry or wine vinegar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 cups grated Cupcake Squash or other summer squash
- 2½ tsp salt
- ½ small red onion, roughly chopped
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
- 4 garlic cloves or ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger or ½ tsp ginger powder
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 4 Tbsp curry powder (hot or sweet)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garam marsala
- 1 cup oat flour
- ½ cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
- Coconut or grapeseed oil for cooking
- 6 burger buns
- Sliced radishes and cucumbers
- Tomato Chutney
Heat oil in a wide pot or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook to soften, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, slice grape tomatoes in half. Add garam marsala, ground pepper, and cardamom to the pot and stir for 30 seconds to toast the spices. Stir in tomatoes and sugar.
Bring to a soft simmer and cook (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick like preserves. The chutney is the right thickness if, when you pull a spoon across the bottom of the pan, it creates a clear trail with the chutney slowly flowing back in to fill the space. Add sherry and salt and cook for an additional two minutes. Remove from heat and carefully spoon into a bowl or jar.
Curried Squash Burgers
In a strainer, mix grated squash with ½ teaspoon salt. Allow to drain for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, add red onion, cilantro, garlic, and ginger to a food processor bowl. Pulse 4-5 times, until the onion is in pea-size pieces. Add drained chickpeas, curry powder, paprika, garam marsala, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Pulse 3 times or until most of the chickpeas are broken into slightly smaller pieces. (They will continue to break down in further mixing, so process less than you feel you should.) Transfer mixture to a large work bowl.
Gently squeeze the squash, small handfuls at a time, releasing any remaining liquid and discarding it. Combine squash with chickpea mixture. Add in oat and chickpea flours and mix with a fork until thoroughly combined, with no dry spots. The mixture should resemble stiff cookie dough. If your mixture is too wet and sticky, add additional chickpea flour a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
The burger patties can either be formed or scooped directly into a pan for cooking. To form patties, place a large (3½-4”) circular biscuit or cookie cutter on a small piece of parchment paper. Using a large ice cream scoop or ¼-cup measuring scoop, add two scoops to the inside of the cutter and spread evenly with a knife. Gently lift the cutter straight up to separate it from the burger. Continue with the rest of the mixture. If scooping onto a full sheet of parchment, cut the paper between patties so they can be picked up individually.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add two teaspoons of oil and swirl to coat the pan. For formed patties, pick up parchment paper under one patty and flip it upside-down onto the heated skillet. Gently peel back parchment from one corner to remove it, then repeat. For direct scooping, place two scoops on top of each other in the hot skillet and press to form a ½” thick patty. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until dark golden brown around the edges. Flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan with each new patty. While finishing the burgers, place cooked burgers on a cooling rack to keep them crisp until serving.
Place on a bun or lettuce wrap and top with sliced cucumbers and radishes, plus a generous spoonful of tomato chutney. Serve immediately.