It is very rare, but once every few months I get this craving for a salad. It uncoils in the pit of my stomach like a serpent leaving its nest for a hunt, and rises to the top till I just can’t help it anymore and have to go get some greens. My favorite salad recipe involves grilled chicken and honey mustard dressing trust me that combo is pure heaven with maybe some croutons on the side.
But as you may know by now the mother won’t let me cook meat at home, so little ol me has to discover different ways to get the result. And it was during this hunt in the lower shelves of the kitchen that it hit me (well first the shelf door hit me) replace chicken with soy, I had done that before (remember soy coconut curry?) but the adventurous cook in me wouldn’t just be happy with plain ol soy patty in my salad. So the solution? Well, add more protein.
I soaked a mixed bunch of pulses over night, they included: black gram (urad dal), green gram (moon dal), chickpea (channa black and white) and kidney beans (rajma). Drained the water the next morning and left them out till the evening. The idea was to get them to sprout and that is what they did.
Boil these pulses in a pressure cooker till they are nice and soft. Chickpea and Kidney beans are a little stubborn so they take a little longer to cook than the others so it would be a better idea to cook these separately.
To make a patty (or tikki as we call it in India) I need something to hold things together the pulses alone won’t work so we add soy granules.
And half boiled and mashed potato. The soy will add to the natural protein content while the potato will hold them all together during the grilling process.
Now comes the messy part, mash the boiled pulses and mix in the potato, soy granules, salt, chili powder and garlic paste. You can do this in a mixer if you wish I prefer using a potato masher or just using your fingers if the pulses are cool enough. Mix everything to get a gooey mix. Shape bits of this mix into patties/tikkis.
Brush them with olive oil on both sides and grill at high power for 10 minutes. Turn them over and grill for 10 more minutes.
While the patty/tikki is getting ready you can take this opportunity to ask yourself: what do you want to do with it?
You could stuff it in a bun and call it a vegan burger.
You could serve it as an appetizer with ketchup or dip
You could do what I did, toss it in a bowl with some veggies and a simple dressing.
For that lets chop the veggies, take what you can find: tomatoes, cucumber and capsicum (green pepper).
Now the dressing, mother has a dressing recipe but it has curd in it. So we take that and veganise it. How? Well in a bowl you take some ginger garlic paste add to it vegan shortening, basil, oregano, crushed mint, salt and chili flakes.
Beat it thoroughly till the shortening mixes well with the other ingredients.
Then add to it some olive oil. Mix further and leave it aside.
By now the patties are done. You can notice the light golden brown look on them.
In a bowl lay down the chopped veggies, place the patties over them, sprinkle some sliced black olives and finally add the dressing.
There, it is done. A delicious, colorful and protein rich healthy salad.
I like this invention of mine for two reasons, firstly because I have been thinking of replacing chicken in salad for a while and it feels great to finally be able to do that. And secondly because I FINALLY got to use Crisco. I have spent so long trying to come up with a nice way to use it and today I just thought it would work and well… it did.
So, yay Crisco!
For the Patty/Tikki
- 1 cup mixed pulses.
- ½ cup soy granules, cooked till soft, then washed and drained
- ½ boiled and mashed potato
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste.
- 1 tsp salt.
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tbsp Crisco i.e. vegan shortening or curd (for the non vegan people)
- Pinch of basil, oregano, crushed dried mint leaves, salt and chili flakes.
- 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Vegetables of your choice.
Soak pulses overnight. In the morning drain all the water and leave in the open. By evening sprouts would have appeared.
Boil these in a pressure cooker till soft
Cook the soy granules till soft. Wash these multiple times till the smell of the packed soy has gone.
Mash the pulses, soy and potato together. Mix in the garlic paste and salt.
Shape the mixture into patties.
Dust with oil and grill at full power for 10 minutes. Then turn them over and grill for 10 minutes again till brown.
For the dressing mix shortening, garlic paste, basil, oregano, crushed dried mint leaves, salt and chili flakes.
Beat it till the shortening combines with the ingredients.
Then add the olive oil and mix well.
In a bowl lay the veggies ad patty as you wish. Pour the dressing on top and serve.
Enjoy a healthy filling salad.