Sep 10, 2014

samosa burger + raita sauce

Day 8 of Burger Extravaganza: I present to you this samosa-inspired Indian burger with raita sauce. All the wonderful flavors and aromas you love in a samosa, not just in burger form, but healthier - no deep frying involved!

This burger is made of roasted cauliflower and potatoes, scallions and the herbs and spices you've come to love in Indian cooking - mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, curry leaves and cilantro. It is then topped with a cooling cucumber raita.

If you've never had the pleasure of cooking with curry leaves, please do yourself a wonderful favor and get to an Indian market as soon as possible. I've been known to grab a bag or two, not just for cooking, but just for the scent! It is ridiculously aromatic and so exotic. I've never smelled anything its like before and I'll sneak into the fridge to have a sniff. And if you cook with - omg, hold me back. So wonderful!

I've found that using vegan yogurt alone for a raita leaves something wanting - the texture and body of the raita is not quite right. To fix this problem, I add a few tablespoons of vegan sour cream which brings a little richness and tang that is otherwise missing.

Serve this up with some garlicked greens (recipe is in Everyday Vegan Eats, page 196) and you have an excellent meal.

If you need to get your hands on a copy of Everyday Vegan Eats (my cookbook), Vegan Heritage Press is giving one away. Giveaway ends September 14 - hurry!

You can make this recipe into 4 double-stacked burgers, or spread the love to others and make 8 single burgers. Either way, these will satisfy your craving for Indian food. At least for a little while. The craving is never actually truly satisfied.

Samosa Burger with Raita Sauce
Makes 4 burgers
3 cups small cauliflower florets
1 pound waxy potatoes, chopped into ¼- inch dice
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
3 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
4 curry leaves
¼ cup cashews
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
4 scallions, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 burger buns or ciabatta rolls or 8 focaccia slices, toasted
Raita Sauce, recipe below

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Combine the cauliflower, potatoes and vegetable broth in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the mustard, coriander, cumin, chili flakes, turmeric and curry leaves, if available. Stir and cook until the seeds pop, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard the curry leaves. Transfer to a small bowl or to the cooked potato mixture. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in same medium skillet over medium heat. Add the cashews and stir and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add to the potatoes.
4. Transfer the potatoes, cauliflower, spice mixture, cashews, breadcrumbs and scallions to a food processor. Pulse until combined but not pureed. Form the mixture into 8 burgers, about 2 ½ inches in diameter and ½-inch thick.
5. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the burger patties, in increments, adding more oil as needed, and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
6. Make the burgers by topping a bottom bun with 2 burger patties and adding about 2 tablespoons raita. Add top of the bun and serve.

Raita Sauce
1 cup plain unsweetened plain yogurt
2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup shredded cucumber, squeezed of excess moisture
2 red radishes, shredded
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


  1. Samosa burgers sound heavenly...and using cauliflower in them is a good idea, I think I'll try them :)

  2. that looks really good & flavorful. i like the bun - it looks like a biscuit - super fluffy and moist!

    1. I'm working on making a focaccia bun - that would do the trick! This bun is a ciabatta roll, cut to size.

  3. Ooh they look so delicious and full of flavour

    1. Thanks! A Bit different than some of the fare you get to make over there? Perhaps one from the wild west tofu book?

  4. What are curry leaves and where can I find them?

    1. Hi Mary,

      Curry leaves look almost like bay leaves, just smaller. They are fresh (like fresh bay leaves in the produce section) and sold in Indian grocery stores. They are very aromatic and have a distinct flavor, so they are not interchangeable with the bay leaf.

      I would find a local Indian market near you. Where do you live (city - I won't publish it) and I can help you locate one.

  5. I love samosas! This sounds so good. I've got an Indian supermarket just around the corner from my office so I'll have to try this soon!

  6. What a fantastic idea! I love samosa filling but am not keen on the pastry part, so these look perfect for me!:D


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu