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Black Bean & Squash Veggie Burgers

We always have people with a variety of eating preferences & palates attending our BBQ's. In response, I've always had fun experimenting with flavors and making new burgers for our get-togethers. This time I want to share one that was tried and tested with our family recently and is sure to be a hit at your summer BBQ's. This soy-free veggie burger is packed with flavor, that plays off the herby cilantro and spicy BBQ sauce, topped with an avocado slice on a sesame seed bun. Black Bean & Squash Veggie Burgers By  Emily (Cooking for Kishore) Ingredients 1 14 oz can of Black Beans, drained 1 Red Onion, choppped 1 Cup Cilantro, chopped 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced 1/2 cup Carrot, grated 1/2 cup Sweet Corn 1 cup Butternut Squash, cubed 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper 1/4 tsp Salt 1/2 tsp Cumin 2 Tbsp spicy BBQ sauce 1/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs 6 Sesame Seed Buns Iceberg Lettuce, shredded Tomato, thinly sliced Avocado, thinly sliced Olive Oil Instructions Heat the Olive Oil in

South Indian Style Spicy Shrimp

Kishore loves shrimp! If given the opportunity he would eat it everyday with a nice helping of rice. Talking and cooking about shrimp always reminds me of Bubba from Forrest Gump, and I can't help but hear this in my head anytime I cook shrimp.... Bubba was right! There are hundreds of ways to prepare shrimp, it's extremely versatile. This summer I just learned a new way to prepare it when Amma visited, Shrimp Pickle.
Since it's a favorite in our home we make it a point to check different supermarket circulars for sales and then buy a few pounds and freeze what we won't use immediately... It's a nice idea, but in reality that rarely happens. It starts out with me saying "I'll cook a pound and put the rest away", and then Kishore says; "They shrink when you cook them; how about a little more....a little more and I can have it for lunch too." And that's it, we just cook it all and have shrimp for dinner and lunch the next day! The other thing we like to do is get different seasonal varieties of shrimp....
Varieties of Shrimp?! 
Yes, there are different kinds out there, they all don't look like the pre-packed store shrimp cocktails.
Just to name the most commonly available in our area:White shrimp, Maine pink shrimp, and Tiger prawns and my personal favorite...King Prawns Okay!

Besides there culinary versatility, shrimp are also a healthly crustacean. They are high in Omega-3s, low in mercury, and depending on how it's prepared shrimp can help lower your trigylcerides and give you a better LDL/HDL ratio.
Another nice thing about shrimp is they are a quick meal, they cook up pretty fast so you have to watch it. The most time consuming part is cleaning them, if you don't buy them partially cleaned already.
One of the reasons I've always disliked eating shrimp in restaurants is because they don't clean the shrimp. The  only exception I've seen was at a restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is wholly unappealing to see that, and when I say cleaned I don't just mean shelling them, I expect them to be deveined as well.

Here's a quick reference video on how to clean AND devein shrimp:

Cleaning Shrimp

South Indian Style Spicy Shrimp
Serves 3-4

1 Tblsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
A few Curry Leaves
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
1 Tblsp Garlic-Ginger Paste
1 Tblsp Vegetable Oil
1 small Red Onion chopped
1 Green chili chopped
2 small Tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup dry shredded coconut (unsweetened)
A handful of chopped fresh Cilantro
1 lb of White Shrimp

1. Clean and devein the shrimp as mentioned above. Wash and chop all vegetables.
2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and mustard seeds until lightly brown and fragrant.
3. Let them cool and then grind them into a fine powder. Put it aside.
4. Heat a frying pan with Vegetable Oil, and fry the garlic ginger paste, bay leaves and onion until light brown and fragrant.
5. Add the coconut and fry until light brown.
6. Add the spices, salt, and shrimp, stir. Then add in the tomatoes and cook over medium for 3-4 minutes uncovered.
7. Once the shrimp are tender add half the chopped fresh cilantro and stir.

Serve with rice, and tomato rasam. Garnish with remaining cilantro.

Hope you Enjoy!

References: (Sorry, I can't help it; it's the scientist in me)

1. Smith KL and Guentzel JL (2010) "Mercury concentrations and omega-3 fatty acids in fish and shrimp: Preferential consumption for maximum health benefits" Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60 (9): 1615–1618.

2. Elizabeth R. De Oliveira e Silva, Cynthia E. Seidman, Jason J. Tian, Lisa C. Hudgins, Frank M. Sacks & Jan L. Breslow (1996). "Effects of shrimp consumption on plasma lipoproteins". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 64 (5): 712–717.


  1. I was shocked the first time I saw 'shrimp powder' in the spices section! It's a thing in Mexican cuisine! Not sure how to use it, though.

    My favorite shrimp recipe is the Bengali recipe chingri malaikari - it is shrimp cooked in a sweet, yellow, coconut milk gravy. SO amazing. But shrimp has a lot of sodium so it is a Sometimes Food for us!

    1. The first time I saw shrimp powder, I had the same reaction. Shrimp pickle was an absolute shock! Shrimp powder is used a lot in Thai curries and other Southeast Asian cuisine.
      Coconut Shrimp Curry is so tasty, I'll have to try that Bengali recipe. :)
      As for the sodium, you are right frozen or precooked shrimp has a lot of salt; however fresh shrimp only has about 200mg of sodium per 100g serving.

  2. So sweet the concept of your blog. Learning and Cooking for Kishore. And teaching us on the way.

  3. This post made my mouth water :D


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