Mini Veg Hot Dogs

“I know it may be wrong
And I apologize to you,
Americans, for doing this
To your favorite food.
This street food simple
New York’s pride & joy,
One that feeds many
Is now free of meat or soy!
Made from all natural
A bite sized robe does wear,
Has no relish or mustard
But is real to eat..I swear.”
These just scream 'take me on a picnic!'

I sort of feel guilt for doing this to America's favorite snack. But how could I not try my version of this ever-so-popular street food! It would be criminal to say I create, and not create a hot dog. 

Hot dogs have been on my 'to-cook' list for a while, but it took me some time to figure out how I could 'indianize' them. I wanted to make a veggie version, and make the 'sausage' completely from scratch - because it would hardly be different if I put a piece of chicken or veg sausage inside some mini buns. So here goes. I enjoyed mine with some melted cheese, yogurt mint chutney & salad. What's your relish? 

For the ‘sausage’
2 cups button mushrooms, chopped
½ cup red onions, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
2 teaspoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
3 tablespoons green lentils, boiled and liquid drained
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
For the hot dog buns (you can buy mini ones from the market too. I couldn't find any so decided to make them!)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup warm whole cream milk
½ teaspoon instant active yeast
A pinch of salt + sugar
Make the ‘sausage’
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onions & garlic and cook till onion turns translucent. Add the mushrooms, basil, paprika, coriander powder, salt & pepper and cook covered on medium flame till mushrooms are tender and fully cooked. Turn heat to high and sauté till any excess liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and cool. Mix in the lentils and breadcrumbs and blend to a fine paste.
Shape the mixture into mini bite-sized sausages and line on a baking tray. Brush with some olive oil and bake at 400 F for approx 12-15 minutes, till the ‘sausage’ turns brown and the underside is crisp. Turn the sausages around and bake for another 12-15 minutes, so that both sides are evenly crisp.
Make the buns
Mix all ingredients and knead to a sticky, but smooth dough. Add the milk slowly such that you only use the amount needed to get the dough together – we don’t want it getting too wet. Brush all over with oil and let the dough sit for an hour.
Once done, break into small pieces and shape into 2-2.5 inch ovals. Flatten slightly and bake at 375 F for 10-15 minutes, till they begin to turn brown. You can brush the top with some egg wash for the regular brown color on breads- I skipped this part.
Slice the buns in half, and serve with the veg ‘sausages’. You can add any relish that you usually enjoy on your hot dogs!