The last week has been particularly stressful, to say the least. My mother-in-law had to undergo unexpected surgery which threw us all into a crazy mire of anxiety, emotions and prayer . There’s not much I can share in terms of feelings and what the family went through but it’s something I felt the need to mention given I had just talked about her recipes in my last post. She is (what a dear friend described as) a tough cookie – having had multiple surgeries and complications and many many trials in her personal life. Personally she has taught all of us a lesson with her life and her complications – to have steadfast faith in what she believes in most – expressed in her own way – by her body and mind fighting back. While she is still on the road to complete recovery and our prayers are on, it amazes me how much there is to learn about life from her – our loved ones and elders, and how these are ironically brought to light only in such dire circumstances.
And so while my husband has tried to spend what little time with her, Nikhil and I have tried to deal with our own prayers and emotions from a distance. I, for one have been able to finally spend some time in silent sitting – something I struggled with for a long long time. Again, it’s amazing what the mind can do and how it learns to cope. This phase has certainly opened up some thoughts and feelings for Nikhil, expressed in his own way – by asking me questions, not the usual ones that always begin and end with a “why” 🙂 but some really thought provoking ones. Questions about science, evolution and a Higher Power. Questions about spending time with family and feelings. Children have an amazing way of coping.
So the last few days have been quite introspective as you can see. And what’s with the coping and cooking? Well, let’s just say I am dealing with all this and my time, of course, talking more to family and old friends, being amidst friends – mostly new friends in Singapore, cooking more than usual and just trying to stay busy. Keeps me and my mind occupied and focused and helps me work better on my silent sitting. I’m sadly not posting as much as I cook but I’m trying so bear with me.
For one, lunchbox recipes are back as Nikhil is taking his lunch every day (he is still unsure about the cafetaria in the new school, except for the famous Subway in the high school cafetaria. It’s amusing how the pre-teens love to want to “hang out” at the Subway after school – makes them feel grown up 🙂
So yesterday’s lunch box entree was Baked Falafel Masala Burgers. This is adapted from a book “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way” by Lukas Volger.
I borrowed this from the local library and I must concede that I’m looking to buy my personal copy:) Very interesting and creative recipes for vegans and vegetarians alike. Anyways, this one is adapted as I did modify the original recipe (original one is called Baked Falafel burgers, and I added the “masala” part:).
1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas ( Note – I used cooked chickpeas but will recommend you use soaked chickpeas – soaked in water for about 24 hours)
Juice of 1 lemon and 1 tsp lemon zest OR 1 tsp amchur powder
1 tsp tava fry masala (MDH brand or any other)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic
1/2 media onion sliced
3-4 green chilies (depends on the level of spice you can handle)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 400F or 190C
2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender (I used Vitamix) and blend until coarsely combined. If you don’t have a Vitamix I will recommend you use a food processor so you have control on the consistency.
3. Shape into 6 thick patties.
4. Place the patties on a liberally oiled baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through until golden and firm, and golden brown.
5. Garnish your burger with tzaziki or tahini dressing, onion, tomato, lettuce and the works!
Verdict – The lunch box came back clean:) Yes my critic’s comment was that the burger was too messy and crumbly, though it tasted yummy. This is why I recommend you use soaked and not cooked chickpeas as it will help bind everything better.