Let’s hear it for Mark Bittman, food writer extraordinaire and cookbook hero to all! The latest release of How To Grill Everything focuses squarely on all things from the barbecue. From soups and salads to elegant, hearty main courses and even dessert, this is the book to pick up if you’re looking to expand your grilling repertoire. Lighten up your patty game with these chickpea-based chana chaat burgers.
I love the flavors in aloo chana chaat, the saucy Indian appetizer of potatoes and chickpeas, and they happen to make a wonderful burger, too. No need for a bun; serve these with your favorite chutney. These can be a bit crumbly, so if you have a perforated grill pan, use it. Otherwise, just handle them gently. Look for chaat masala in Indian markets; its somewhat tangy taste is distinctive. If you can only find garam masala, go for it; you’ll still be happy.
Cheesy Chana Chaat–Sweet Potato Burgers
The addition of the cheese is unconventional but deliciously gooey, and sweet potatoes partner beautifully with the chickpeas: Substitute mashed sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes and add ½ cup shredded mozzarella.
Smoky Black Bean–Sweet Potato Burgers
Substitute black beans for the chickpeas and mashed sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes. Replace the chaat masala with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentón).
Use either chickpeas or cooked peeled fava beans. Substitute parsley for the cilantro. Replace the chaat masala and lime zest with 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste.
- 3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
- 1 1/2 cups Mashed potatoes
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons chaat masala
- 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper
For the burgers
Put the chickpeas and potatoes in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until they come together. Add the onion, cilantro, chaat masala, lime zest, and cumin; work them in by mashing with a wooden spoon or the back of a fork. Taste and add some salt and pepper if needed. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 8 burgers. Put them on a platter without touching, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can make the burgers up to a day or so in advance. Cover tightly and refrigerate.)
Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.
Put the burgers on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until they develop a crust and release easily from the grates, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and serve.