It was a cold and rainy night. The Husbands’ house was flickering with candles, and raindrops tapping lively on the roof replaced our usual soundtrack of music while we cook. We were craving something warm and cozy for this wintry occasion, and decided to make masoor daal from our blog. We also fried up fresh Indian samosas, one of our go-to recipes from the Sides chapter in our cookbook. As we enjoyed our dinner, the rain steadily grew louder and eventually turned into showers of hail. Between the glowing lights in our house and the rare southern California storm outside, it made for a romantic meal, and also inspired an idea for a brand new recipe. If you are a fan of Indian samosas, then you’re going to fall in love with our vegetarian Samosa Burgers with Cilantro-Mint Chutney. Fix yourself a vegan chai latte, sit back and relax, and let us explain what this new sensation is all about.
Samosas are prepared differently around the world. Today we are cooking an Indian-inspired version, filled with a blend of aromatic herbs and spices that is guaranteed to draw the attention of every neighbor on your block. Made with tender potatoes, sautéed onion, minced garlic, and fresh ginger, these tasty vegetarian burgers are lovingly seasoned with cumin, curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, fresh cilantro, and a serrano pepper for a hint of heat. Colorfully speckled with the traditional chopped carrots and peas—this calls for a celebration because everyone’s favorite Indian appetizer is now officially a main course! Garnished with a dollop of homemade cilantro-mint chutney, your evening is starting to sound pretty romantic—rain or shine.
The mystery has finally been solved. Every time we ordered samosas at Indian restaurants over the years, we always wondered how to make the vibrant green chutney that accompanies them. Well, thankfully this secret sauce is incredibly easy to prepare—you simply blend a few ingredients in a food processor, and that’s it. Made with fresh cilantro, mint, garlic, lime juice, and a serrano pepper, this magical mixture is tangy, delicious, and adds a gorgeous green color to the golden samosa patties. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and these Indian-spiced burgers are the perfect date night dinner for you and your sweetheart. Bake our chai cupcakes with brown butter chai frosting for dessert and make it a night they will never forget.
Samosa Burgers with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
Makes 4 to 5 burgers
For the cilantro-mint chutney:
2 packed cups (108 g / about 1 to 2 bunches) fresh cilantro stems and leaves (see note)
1 packed cup (36 g / about 1 to 2 bunches) fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed
2 large garlic cloves (10 g total)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
For the samosa burgers:
3/4 pound (340 g) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup (38 g) finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup (33 g) fresh or frozen peas
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion (145 g), finely chopped
1 large garlic clove (5 g), minced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece, peeled)
1/2 serrano pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon (3 g) minced cilantro
1 large egg
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 to 5 hamburger buns
To make the cilantro-mint chutney:
Wash and dry the cilantro and mint, and place in a food processor. Add the lime juice, serrano pepper, garlic, salt, and sugar, and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Continue blending until smooth and spreadable, then transfer to a bowl or small container. Use immediately, or keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To make the samosa burgers:
Bring a medium pot of unsalted water to a boil over high heat. When boiling, add the potatoes, set a timer for 10 minutes, and lower heat slightly to a simmer. When 5 minutes remain on the timer, add the chopped carrots. When 3 minutes remain on the timer, add the peas. When the timer rings, drain the vegetables into a colander, then transfer to a medium heatproof bowl. Using a spoon or silicone spatula, stir and slightly mash the potatoes until partially mashed with some chunks remaining. Set aside.
While the potato mixture is cooling, set a skillet over medium-high heat (note: you can use the same pot the potatoes cooked in, just wipe it out first). When hot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and golden, 9 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, salt, garam masala, cumin, curry powder, and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cilantro, toss to combine, and remove pan from heat. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the bowl of potatoes, and stir to combine. Add the egg, and stir until evenly blended. This mixture can be used immediately, or kept covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Divide the potato mixture into 4 or 5 equal portions. Form each portion into a round patty about 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick, and place the patties on individual squares of parchment or wax paper for easy transport. Set aside.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, and when hot, place the buns flat-side-down in the skillet. Cook until toasted and golden brown on the bottom, then remove the buns and place on serving plates. Spread a generous layer of cilantro-mint chutney on the bottom bun, and spread mayonnaise on the top bun. Set aside.
Keep the skillet over medium heat, and add the remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. When hot, add the potato patties and cook until the underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes (note: if the potato mixture is still cold from the fridge, it may take slightly longer). Flip and cook the second side until browned, about 5 more minutes. If any cracks appear, simply nudge the patties back into shape using a spatula. When fully cooked, transfer the patties to the prepared bottom buns, then top each one with a slice or two of tomato and the top bun. Serve hot, with additional cilantro-mint chutney at the table if desired, and enjoy!
— Did you know that cilantro stems have just as much flavor as the leaves? When measuring out the cilantro, use the entire bunch, not just the leaves.
— For the mint, however, use the leaves only, discarding the tough stems.
— Removing the seeds and white ribs from the serrano peppers reduces the spice level significantly. If you would like a spicier dish, feel free to leave some or all of the seeds in.