A vegan tandoori naan burger--delicious, tandoori-masala-spiced bean patties are sandwiched in a soft, cloudy naan "bun". It's fun, delicious, nutritious, kid-friendly, and it couldn't be easier.
Yes, you read that right. It's a Vegan Tandoori Naan Burger. And it's damn delicious.
What it is, is two small, puffy, flaky naan breads sandwiching a juicy burger flavored with tandoori spices (I use my scrummy homemade vegan naan recipe to make the breads, and the are great for serving with dips as well!). Yes, those spices that go into making that shocking orange chicken that's baked up in a rustic clay oven called a tandoor and served at north Indian restaurants around the world. But since this is a chicken-free zone, and happily so, our burger is made with rajma or red kidney beans and some potato to better soak up all of those spicy flavors.
Jay loves veggie burgers with a passion (homemade, not the store-bought ones which are always so bland). And because they are good for him, and easy for me, I try and make versions of burgers as often as I can. He loves naan just as much as he loves burgers (these Naan Calzones are a hot favorite hereabouts), which is perhaps the reason why I always have some naan dough sitting around in my refrigerator these days. Often, for dinner, I will roll out a naan or two for him and bake it up right on the griddle. While naans are traditionally also baked in a tandoor, or in ovens in modern kitchens, griddle-baked naans turn out soft and puffy and are just as delicious.
These vegan tandoori rajma burgers are among the easiest I've ever thrown together and they come together in under 30 minutes if you use canned beans. I like the red kidney beans because they have a great bite, but pinto beans would also be good here.
The potato serves two purposes in this recipe: it helps bind the ingredients, and its blandness also sets off the spices. You can sub with sweet potato, but then you wouldn't enjoy the flavor of the tandoori spices as much because the sweetness would overpower it.
The burger recipe is completely fat-free, so you can munch away -- eat all of them, if you wish. And for the naan bread, I used my naan recipe, with the only difference being that I rolled these out much smaller, just slightly larger than the diameter of the burger patty. Once you've subbed a naan for a burger bun, trust me, you will not want to go back.
And if you absolutely won't make a naan dough, here's a little secret: use storebought pizza dough. It does the job just as well.
More veggie burger recipes
- Vegan Black Bean Burger
- Bean and Oats Burgers
- Quinoa and Bean Burgers
- Beet Burgers
- Sprouted Mung Bean Burgers
Vegan Tandoori Naan Burger
Vegan Tandoori Naan Burger
For tandoori burgers
- 1 cup dried red kidney beans (or rajma. Soaked overnight, then cooked till tender. Sub with three cups of canned beans)
- 1 medium russet potato boiled until tender, and peeled.
- ½ cup walnuts chopped really fine in a food processor
- 2 teaspoon onion powder sub with ¼ cup minced fresh onions
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder sub with 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder sub with 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika (adds a fabulous color-- we are not using any food coloring that is usually added to tandoori spices to give that orange-red color)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
- 2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves minced
- 2 tablespoon kasoori methi crushed, dry fenugreek leaves
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala sub with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For cilantro raita
- 6 oz silken firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (minced)
- 1 green chili (like serrano, deseeded if you're sensitive to heat)
- Salt to taste
- Make the burgers:
- In a large bowl, mash the potatoes and then add the beans and mash them coarsely. Don't smush the beans into a paste because you want some texture.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well. Very clean hands are the best way to get in the bowl and make sure all of the flavor's spread all around.
- Form the beans into patties. I made six hefty patties, but you can shape them smaller if you have a mind to.
- Spray a nonstick griddle with some oil spray and when hot, grill the patties over medium-high heat until brown-black spots appear. Flip over and grill the other side.
- Make the naan buns:
- Use this vegan naan recipe to make the dough. Break off enough of the dough to form a one-inch ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the naan slightly larger than the diameter of your burger (you want to do this because the dough can spring back a little)
- On a very hot griddle, spray some oil and grill the naan on each side until golden-brown spots appear. The naan will rise and become a little puffy on the griddle, which is great.
- Make the coriander raita:
- Blitz all of the raita ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Assemble the burger:
- Slather on some of the coriander raita on the naan bun, layer on some leafies, onions and tomatoes, if you please, and the burger patty. Eat.
HI Vaishali, thanks so much for your recipes. I made your garlic naan to use with these burgers and that turned out awesome, so great and easy. But for the burgers I'm having a little issue. They smell divine! They too, were quick and easy to put together, but during the cooking/frying process, they are not holding up. Very soft and not flip-able. So one issue is I could have mashed the kidneys beans more than you do, so I'll leave them more course next time. But my question is: do you think they could be cooked in an over (to avoid frying in oil) and getting them a bit more sturdy?
Hi Diana, you might want to actually mash the kidney beans finer--that would help them hold. Also try adding some bread crumbs if you continue to have an issue. GF is fine if you're glutenfree. Hope that helps!
And yes, you can make them in an oven--400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and flip them over.
Can I sub cashews for walnuts?
Just discovered your website and cant wait to try your receipes. I had a question about the burgers. If i want to freeze them, is it better to cook them first or should i freeze them 'raw'?
Hi Ambrish, cook them on the griddle first and freeze, then, before use, thaw completely. Be sure to warm them up on the griddle before serving.
wow! I need to get my mom to make this for me.
Oh I like this freezing idea even more, since that's what I was planning to do with my burgers as well. So I can let the dough rise, portion it off and freeze it. And when I decide to use, let it come to room temperature on the counter, roll it out and cook?
I'm sorry about all the questions, I'm a total novice when it comes to yeasted breads! I'd like to try some recipes, but it's very difficult to downsize such recipes for a single person. So I really appreciate make-ahead tips and adapting recipes to be freezer friendly! And I want to make this!!
Hi Krithika, you got it exactly. I usually divide the naan dough batch into two and freeze one half. And do not hesitate to ask questions-- I am happy to help. 🙂 Glad you're trying out yeasted breads -- they are so much fun.
If I used a yogurt, would that reduce the time the dough could be refrigerated? I really like the idea of making a batch of dough and storing it to be used over the week!
Not at all. It can last 4-5 days in the refrigerator, but if you decide to hold for longer, freeze it and then thaw for a few hours before using. I usually always make more than I need for one meal and freeze the rest for another day.
Could I use a naan dough without tofu and still get the same puffy effect? Also, I think rajma might be the one bean I'm out of at the moment. What could I use instead?
Absolutely, use any vegan unflavored yogurt - 3/4th of a cup.
Lovin' the various beany burgers you concoct! So makes me wonder why the fast food chains haven't managed cottoned on to them! Or maybe I do....(insert evil music here!). Does seem so crazy not to see the benefits of veganism to the planet.
Hi Padma, they add more flavor and texture and, of course, good proteins.
Using Naan dough to make griddle buns is a great idea, Vaishali! The Rajma burger looks equally delicious. I must try this out.
Hi Priti, thanks! They are super popular in our home for sure. 🙂
Vaishali where is the Naan Bun recipe? The link you have in the recipe does not go to the Naan Bun recipe?
Hi Tonya, sorry about that -- I reposted that recipe with just the salan and separated the naan recipe. Here you go. I'll also add the correct link in the blog, thanks for pointing out. https://holycowvegan.net/homemade-garlic-naan-bread/