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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

Happy Ugadi! - Mixed Vegetable Vada (Fritters)

Happy Ugadi Everyone!

This last Monday (3/31) was Telugu New Year also known as Ugadi! It is usually celebrated with the reading of the New Years' almanac and traditional foods. Like Ugadi Pachadi whose ingredients represent different experiences that we all deal with in one year's time: Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Surprise and Fear. Last year, we celebrated our first Ugadi together with some recipe help from Amma!

There was Mango Rice, Plantain Bajji, Tindora fry, Potato fry, Ugadi Pachadi, Mixed Veggie Curd Salad, Bobbattu, and Cabbage Vada. Now before you say anything:
I know, I know the most important dish the Ugadi Pachadi was missing from the photo! Not because I forgot to make it, but because it didn't hang around long enough for a photo...

Ahem, (*cough*) Kishore ate it.

This year, Ugadi was on a Monday, at the start of a particularly busy work week so I had to scale it down a bit. 
There was Mango Rice, Eggplant Bajji, Ugadi Pachadi, Curd Salad, and Mixed Vegetable Vada.

I was particularly excited about this year's Vada. 
In case you don't know, Vada is a doughnut- shaped fritter made from ground bean paste and vegetables. It's crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and tasty all around. 
So Why was I excited? Because I experimented this year! Since we had just celebrated St. Patrick's Day the week before, we still had plenty of leftover green cabbage and veggies. So, I decided to use them all; green cabbage, along with red cabbage and kale, some shredded broccoli stalks and shredded carrots for good measure. The colors from these veggies are very reminiscent of colorful  spring flowers; perfect for a holiday celebrating the onset of spring and the start of a New Year!
Part of the reason I like making/eating Vada is that it's simple, quick, it can be made with pretty much any vegetable and it's filling. It's great as a snack or a side dish.
You can read more about other years celebrations here:

Here is my recipe for Versatile Mixed Vegetable Vada:

Mixed Vegetable Vada

Makes 15-20


1 cup Urad Dal
1 cup Chopped Green/Red Cabbage, and Kale
1/4 cup Shredded Carrot
1/4 cup Shredded Broccoli Stalk
1 tsp Garlic Ginger Paste
2 Chopped Green Chilies
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3 cups Water

Vegetable Oil

Prep Work: Soak the Urad Dal in 2 cups of warm water for about an hour.
1. Drain the water from the Dal and place softened beans in a food processor. Grind to a paste, then slowly add water till it gains a thick batter consistency.
2. To the batter add all the vegetables, and spices. Mix throughly.

3. Pour oil about 1/2" deep into a frying pan, and heat to medium.
4. While the oil is heating, with slightly damp hands start forming the vadas.

5. Carefully place them in the oil, and cook till golden brown on both sides.

6. Drain on paper towels.

Serve Hot with chutney of your choosing.

Crispy crunch outside and nice and spongey on the inside :)


I have entered this post in Four Seasons Food Spring Challenge, hosted by Delicieux and Eat your Veg. I'va also added it to My Legume Love Affair #70, hosted by Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen and Susan's The Well Seasoned Cook.


  1. Hi Emily, came across your blog on the desi link list and had to leave a comment because I am half Mexican/half Irish married to an Indian man! :) Look forward to reading more on your blog.

    1. Hi Morgan! It's nice to meet you! It's nice to talk to others from a similarly mixed ethnic background. :)

  2. Wow! What variety Emily!
    I am so pathetic when it comes to variety, I do reasonably okay in regular cooking though.
    Great pics! Happy eating!

    1. Hi Indrani! Thanks for the compliment! You can do this too, the trick is a sense of adventure and experimentation! Give it a try and have fun that's always key. :)

  3. Wow that is a smorgasbord of food. Love vada, especially with coconut chutney! Yours looks very healthy and delicious.

    1. Hi Amelia! Thanks, it's definitely a comfort food and we had ours with coconut chutney too! :)

  4. Hey Emily, very innovative vada. Perfect to go with the evening tea. That reminds me, I should make some soon :) Thanks for the entry to MLLA 70.

    1. Forgot to add.. What a delicious spread you have prepared for celebrating Ugadi !! Absolutely wonderful !! Hope you have a good year :)

    2. Hi Avika! Thanks for the compliment and thanks for hosting this month! Hope you give it a try and let me know what you think. Happy Ugadi to you and your family; and hope that you have a good year as well! :)

  5. Oh my, I am drooling over your pictures.. That looks yummy .. Might try out that recipe also:-) beautiful blog Emily - Thanks for visiting mine . I will be back here for more:-)

    1. Hi Eli! Thank you! Definitely try them, tell me how they turned out! :)

  6. Goodness they look great! What a lovely blend of vegetables and of course those spices! Your celebration food looks fantastic, wish I could have tasted it all! Thanks for entering these into Four Seasons Food.

    1. Hi Anneli! Thanks for the compliment, and thanks for hosting! Hope you give them an try and tell me what you think! :)

  7. Planning a top dinner party should always start with hiring a well organized party caterer. A caterer is a person that is trained and educated in preparing and serving food to guests.


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