Millet and Dal Garden Patties

Millet is a blessing when making veggie-burgers: it acts like cement, holding everything together, while adding a nice nutty flavour. It also has a beautiful yellow colour that makes for a bright and sunny burger.

These patties work well straight-up alongside a plate of salad.  They also make for tasty fare in a whole-grain bun with a tomato-based hot-sauce of some kind, sliced avocado, freshly grated carrot and a smattering of alfalfa sprouts.

The amount of herbs in these patties can be as much or as little as you like depending on personal taste and availability. Likewise, you can adjust the veggies you use based on what you have around. As long as the celery root is subbed for another root vegetable in equal quantity, the recipe should work out fine.

What you need:

  • 1 cup dry dal (mung, chana, toor or urud, I personally prefer chana dal here)
  • 1 cup millet
  • 2-1/2 cups water or herbal broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 maïtake mushrooms (optional)
  • A 2’’ piece of kombu seaweed (optional)
  • 1 large slice reishi mushroom (optional)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small carrot, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 rib celery, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1/2 a small celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • A mixture of minced chives, basil and parsley to taste (dill and chives would work beautifully as well)
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, separated

What you do:

  1. Soak the dal and millet together overnight in a generous amount of fresh water.
  2. Drain the dal and millet, add them to a pot with the water or herbal broth, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the bay leaf, and the maïtake, kombu and reishi if using.
  3. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer on stove-top until all the water is absorbed. You could cook the mix in a grain cooker or electronic pressure cook with a whole grain cycle, and then allow a natural pressure release. Let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, if you have a food processor, this is the time to get it out. In the work bowl of the food processor, chop the onion and garlic together until pulpy (wet). Transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Don’t clean out the work bowl; just put it back in place along with the blade. Add the carrot, celery and celeriac and pulse until they’re reduced to small pieces but not puréed. Transfer to the large bowl.
  6. Put the work bowl back into place again. Add the sunflower seeds and buzz them a few times. Most should be chopped up some, some should still be whole. Transfer to the large bowl too. Now you can get the food processor out of the way.
  7. Add the nutritional yeast, sunflower seed butter, pepper, herbs and cooled (it can still be warm, just not burning hot) millet and dal to the bowl. Get in there with your hands to mix well and distribute the nut butter evenly throughout. Taste for salt and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon if desired. Shape into patties immediately and do not let the mixture cool too much or it will congeal as millet is wont to do.
  8. To cook, preheat the oven to 375F and line a large pan or two with parchment paper or silpat baking sheets.
  9. Portion out a generous 1/3 cup of the mixture ( or 1/2 cup if you like really big bugers) and shape it into a patty about 4″ wide and 3/4″ thick (1″ thick if using 1/2 cup). The mixture will be pretty sticky so you probably want to use your hands. Press well so they hold tightly together.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes on each side, depending on how crunchy you like them.
  11. Serve immediately or let cool completely, wrap individually, and freeze for future use.  To serve up a frozen patty, let it thaw to room temperature and pan-fry with a bit of olive oil until golden.

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