This recipe is inspired by the thin, heavily spiced Pakistani patties known as chapli kebabs, which are typically drizzled with green chutney and served wrapped in warm naan. This version replaces naan with buns and welcomes the classic crunch of iceberg lettuce. But what really sets these burgers apart are the other flavorful toppings and condiments: thinly sliced onions, tomatoes and cucumbers, a creamy herbed yogurt, and tomato ketchup spiked with tamarind paste. Take a few extra minutes to put together the sauces — the mouthwatering tang, sweetness, creaminess and spice they'll add will make all the difference.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1tablespoon coriander seeds
- Sea salt
- 2tablespoons fresh or dried pomegranate seeds
- 1pound ground beef
- ½small yellow onion, minced
- ½medium tomato, finely chopped and drained of juice
- 1clove garlic, finely grated or pounded
- 1tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- ½jalapeño, seeded and minced
- ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1teaspoon garam masala
- 1teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
- Neutral oil for cooking
- Burger buns
- Iceberg lettuce
- Tamarind ketchup (see recipe)
- Herbed yogurt (see recipe)
- Sliced Persian cucumbers, red onions and tomatoes
Step 1Place coriander seeds in a small saucepan, and set over medium heat. Swirling pan, lightly toast seeds for 2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat, and finely pound in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt (alternatively, use a spice grinder or small food processor). Add pomegranate seeds, and coarsely pound (it’s fine if the inner seed does not break down). Scrape paste into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2Add beef, onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, 1/2 jalapeño, pepper flakes, garam masala, cumin, 1/4 cup cilantro, egg and 2 teaspoons salt. Use hands to knead mixture until combined.
Step 3Fry a quarter-size piece of the mixture, and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and spices.
Step 4Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide meat mixture onto parchment into 6 balls, and flatten into thin, 4-inch-round patties.
Step 5Set a large cast-iron pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When it shimmers, lay three patties into the pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side until browned, then set aside on a plate. Drain grease from pan, and wipe with a paper towel, then cook remaining patties. (Alternatively, grill burgers over high heat for 2 minutes per side until browned.)
Step 6Serve immediately on toasted buns with tamarind ketchup, herbed yogurt and other garnishes.