Tag Archives: Cheap eat

Chickpea dill-chili-tahini burgers with tomato chutney

8 Aug

It is often all too late, as a vegetarian, that you become aware when you invite people over for a ‘barbeque’, they often expect some kind of animal fare. Bewilderment, anger, loss all flicker on the faces of meat-eating friends as they wonder where to put their steaks and what they’ll really eat for dinner whence they leave your big fat lie of a BBQ.

The problem is often that veggie burgers, sausages and the like comprise largely of one of two things: potatoes or some unpronounceable chemical substance (Quorn, what are you?).  And very often they do not have the textural fortitude to withstand the ravages of the outdoor flame.

These little fellas, however, held together well, were moist and tasty enough for our Peruvian friends to be happy – which is saying a lot for South Americans (not the most vegan continent).

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Chickpea-tahini-dill burgers (serves 4 – made 9 burgers)

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • Good bunch of dill
  • About 1/4 C of chopped (liquid drained out) or frozen spinach
  • 2 1/2 TBSP tahini paste
  • 4 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • Finely diced chili
  • Salt
  • Bread crumbs

Mash up chickpeas, leaving some still whole, some half-mashed and some obliterated. Mix in dill, chili and spinach. In a glass or bowl, whisk up the tahini, lemon, garlic and water until it is fully combined – it should be the consistency of milk. Divide into palm-sized patties (about 1.5m thick), roll in bread crumbs and leave to set in the fridge for about an hour. Grill on a fry pan or on the barbie for a couple minutes each size.

Tomato chutney

  • 1 can good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 red medium-size red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sherry vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sugar

Cook up garlic and onion, adding the can of toms and let it reduce down for at least 15 mins. There should be nothing watery about this.

The burgers were served with home-made bagels, beetroot and some super-quick raita.

Estimated cost: £4

Musical accompaniment: Timber Timbre

Review: Tas on The Cut

2 Aug

One of the most heart-breaking things about London is the omnipresence of chain eateries. From the 12 Pret-a-Manger outlets along the Number 19 bus route between Finsbury Park and Kensington, to Gordon Ramsey’s eponymous restaurants which seem to self-multiply in a disturbing Fantasia-broomstick-esque manner – it’s too much of an (often not quite) good thing.

One exception to the rule is Tas. When Man Woman first came across Tas, we did think it was a fantastic little find. Much like when I first got to France and thought I had stumbled across a fantastic little boulangerie run by Paul. Alack, Tas too is a chain (and Paul is shit).

But there are chains, and there are chains.

Tas on The Cut looks far posher than it is – or maybe it’s just that Man Woman is unused to eating on anything but plastic-coated table cloths or the wallpaper we scavanged from someone’s front yard dump. Does tend to skew your perspective somewhat.

Tas – all of the Tases actually – is a place we love almost despite itself. After abandoning fish from the menu, I have to honestly say that the food is basic, sometimes lacking the flavour intensity the dishes visually insinuate. But this is the kind of place where reading the menu is excitement enough (eg. leeks, chickpeas and lentils with couscous and yoghurt with pomegranate), the eating of it is almost a superfluous experience.

It’s the only place in London that does Turkish bread that in anyway resembles the glory that is Turkish bread in Australia (and, I’m assuming, Turkey) and the good armies of waitstaff provide the bread, olives and some rather delicious yoghurt dip free and frequently.

The dishes themselves are massive, ranging from bulgur kofte to some dish involving both grapes and cheddar cheese and which is oddly kinda yum. Dishes to avoid (as a veggie) would be the Mantar (a sizeable pyramid of mushrooms topped with a flavourless white cheese). My main tonight, patlicanli – a smoked aubergine puree, couscous and yoghurt, lacked any actual texture apart from ‘soft’, but something tells me I’ll one day end up eating it again anyway, thus is the draw of Tas.

Tas on the Cut, though, is definitely worth a wander to. You’ll have no idea why you love it.

Oh, and at all times: keep away the house wine.

Price per head: generous veggie mains start at £7.45, set menus start at £9.95.  We regularly spend around £15 a head

Friendliness to veggies: 9/10

Overall rating: 8/10, but I don’t know why

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