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Big Bhaji Burger

['2-4 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying', '2 red onions', '1 (2 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger', '1 fresh red chile', 'Generous 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves', '1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds', '1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds', '2 1/2 cups chickpea flour', '1 1/2 tsp garam masala', 'Generous 3/4 cup water', '4 good-quality burger buns', '3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise, to serve', '1/4 small cucumber, to serve', '1 large tomato, to serve', '1 avocado, to serve', '1 little gem lettuce, to serve', '2 tbsp mango chutney, to serve', '1 pappadum, to serve', 'Salt', 'Large saucepan over high heat | Cooking thermometer', 'optional | Pestle and mortar | Line a dinner plate with paper towels']

Pour the vegetable oil into the large saucepan so that it comes no more than two-thirds up the side of the pan | Heat the oil to 350°F, or until a wooden spoon dipped into the oil sizzles around the edges
Meanwhile, peel and very finely slice the onions and put them into a big bowl | Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon and finely chop | Rip the stem from the chili, cut it in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds if you prefer a milder flavor, then finely chop and add to the pan | Roughly chop the cilantro leaves | Add the ginger, chili, and cilantro to the bowl | Crush the coriander seeds and cumin seeds with a pestle and mortar or the end of a rolling pin and add them to the bowl | Add the chickpea flour, garam masala, water, and a generous pinch of salt and mix until everything is well combined and covered with a wet sticky batter
Divide the mixture into 6 and use your hands to mold it into patties around 3 1/2 inches wide and no more than 1/3 inch thick | Use a metal spoon to carefully lower 2 of the patties into the hot oil and cook them for about 5 minutes, flipping them over halfway | Remove the patties when they are golden and crisp and transfer to the plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil | Repeat with the remaining patties
While the bhajis are frying, split the burger buns open and spread the bottom halves with vegan mayonnaise | Thinly slice the cucumber and tomato | Halve and carefully pit the avocado by tapping the pit firmly with the heel of a knife so that it lodges in the pit, then twist and remove the pit | Run a spoon around the inside of the avocado skin to scoop out the flesh, then slice finely
To serve the bhaji burgers, lay a few lettuce leaves on the bottom of the burger buns and place the burgers on top | Spread a little mango chutney on top of each, followed by slices of tomato, avocado, and cucumber | Break up the pappadum and sprinkle it over the top before closing the buns

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License: CC BY-SA 3.0

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