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Cafe Pasqual's quinoa burger

Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Cafe Pasqual’s quinoa burger
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Tomato chutney

1

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and asafetida. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the rice vinegar, tomato, curry powder, fenugreek, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, coriander, mace, sugar, salt and raisins. Stir together and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and gently simmer until the liquid reduces and the mixture thickens slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, then cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes about 1 1/4 cups chutney.

Quinoa burger

1

Cook the quinoa. Rinse the grains well. Bring the water to a boil and add the quinoa, cooking until it is translucent and tender, and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, 12 to 15 minutes, careful not to overcook. Drain, measure 2 cups and set aside. This makes about 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, more than is needed for the rest of the recipe; the remainder can be eaten by itself or added to foods such as soups or salads.

2

While the quinoa is cooking, coarsely grate the zucchini. Spread the grated zucchini out on a kitchen towel, then roll up the towel and wring it to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Set aside.

3

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over low heat and add the shallot and red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini, and cook for 3 more minutes to soften, stirring often.

4

Place the mixture in a large bowl and add the quinoa, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool, then add the bread crumbs and mashed yam, kneading the mixture to fully incorporate and form the burger base. Test the mixture by forming a very small patty and frying it in a sauté pan; if the burger is too soft to hold together, add more mashed yam to bind. Make 6 patties by pressing the mixture firmly with your hands.

5

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Cook the patties until golden-brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

6

Spread a tablespoon of guacamole on the cut side of each toasted muffin slice. Place a cooked patty one one of the muffin slices, and top each with a tablespoon of tomato chutney and small handful of daikon sprouts. Top with a sprinkling of fried shallot sticks. Place the remaining muffin slice over the top, or serve the burgers open-faced.

Black mustard seeds, asafetida (or asafoetida) and fenugreek can generally be found in Indian and cooking supply stores, as well as online.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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