This post shows amply how plans, even well drafted ones, change when kids are involved. Here I was, all planned (for once!) with three of the easiest street food items to be prepared for the 4th week of the Blogging Marathon (edition 26), and I failed to make even one on time! My nephews are in town and I’d planned to make the street snacks such that they’d be able to eat them while I concentrated on dishes to prepare for April’s month-long marathon before they came.
But they came, they saw, and they conquered. They wanted pizza one day, chocolate cake the next day and burger the day after. And with my hands full with my year-old-boy and three starting-on-terrible-teens nephews, I just couldn’t manage my planned street food posts. Anyhow, I realised how much I’d enjoyed Indian-style burgers from roadside stalls when I was in school.
These days fancy ones with mayo, mustard sauce et all are available so easily at McDonalds and other fast food restaurants, and I thought I must dish out the kind of street-side and home-made burgers that I grew up with in the mid-90s, when things like burgers, pizzas and French fries were still new to India and eating out wasn’t so common. It was simply easier to replicate these at home or try roadside fare for Indianised versions that were way better on Indian palates!
So here’s my version of the Indian burger. The patties, prepared by my sister-in-law, were made healthier with the addition of oats and broken wheat and pan fried, instead of being deep fried. Sadly, I wasn’t able to take a shot of the assembled burger because the kids were too impatient to wait.
What was your favourite street food growing up?
Ingredients for the burger buns:
APF – 2 ¼ cups
Wheat flour – ¼ cup
Water – 1 cup + ¼ cup
Active dry yeast – 1 tbsp
Sugar – ½ tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
White sesame seeds – ½ tsp (I only had black so I used that!)
Oil – 2 tsp
Milk – for brushing the bun tops
Preparing the Buns:
Warm ¼ cup water and add sugar and yeast granules. Stir till most granules dissolve and keep aside, covered, till yeast turns bubbly (around 10-15 mins)
Mix APF, wheat flour and salt. Add frothy yeast and rest of the water and knead into smooth elastic dough (it will be very sticky to start with but will turn smooth as you keep kneading. This will take about 10 mins)
Keep dough in a big covered bowl in a warm place for at least an hour. Wait for it to double in size
Once doubled, punch down the dough, add oil and knead again for a few minutes
Divide dough into 6 portions and shape into small burger-like somewhat flattened balls. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of all the buns and tap lightly so that it doesn’t fall off
Place on a baking tray with a gap of about half an inch between two dough balls. Cover with a large container and set aside for dough to rise for another hour or so
Preheat oven to 175 deg C. Brush the top of the risen dough balls with milk and bake for 15-20 mins till golden-brown on top
For the patties
(All eyeball measures since this wasn’t planned to be posted!)
Potatoes – 3-4 (large)
Quick cooking oats
Broken wheat (lapsi/dalia)
Spice powder (We used a mix of pav bhaji masala, sambhar powder and red chili powder)
Oil – a couple of tablespoons
Boil the potatoes and mash them
Add salt, spice powders and as much quick cooking oats as required to mould the them into round patties
Take broken wheat on a plate. Coat the patties in the broken wheat
Heat a tawa or a shallow pan and add oil
When oil’s hot, add the patties. Flip when brown enough on the bottom and cook the other side likewise. You could press them gently with a spatula. Remove from tawa when done and keep aside
Assembling the burger
Cabbage leaves – torn into big pieces
Tomato – sliced into roundels
Onion – sliced into roundels
Cheese – either processed cheese slices or any cheese spread
Assemble: There’s no proper procedure really!
Slice through the buns horizontally
Spread cheese on the base
Lay a lay of cabbage leaves
Top with tomato and onion slices
Spread a bit of tomato ketchup
Cover with the top half of the bun and serve!
My buns did not turn out fluffy enough that day because I used just 1 tsp of yeast…my mistake. I’ve made them using this recipe many times before and they turn out absolutely great. For some reason, they did not brown on the top either!