RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Tandoori Burgers

A hot grill is perfect way to translate chicken cooked by the tandoori oven's sear to a patio burger experience. Whole wheat burger buns replace the traditional whole wheat flour chapatis.

Ingredients 

2 lbs. ground chicken (not extra lean chicken breast)
2 Tablespoons dry salt-free Tandoori seasoning blend (or Tandoori Chicken spice blend)
3 Tablespoons grated onion
1 Tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup Greek-style thick strained yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs from one whole wheat bun
2 teaspoons medium hot paprika
2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for buns
1 teaspoon Sel Gris (or coarse sea salt), plus extra for later
Cool Avocado Raita
2 ripe California avocados, peeled & pitted
juice of half of small lemon or to taste
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces Greek-style thick strained yogurt
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper,more to taste
salt, to taste
6 whole wheat or whole grain buns, plus one extra for crumbs
1 long seedless cucumber, thinly sliced, chilled
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, snipped

Instructions 

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to hot. Bank coals or arrange heat rods for indirect heat. Combine chicken, Tandoori seasoning, onion, 1 Tablespoon mint, yogurt, salt and bun crumbs. Using a light touch, form into six 3/4" patties. Stir together 2 teaspoons paprika and olive oil. Brush on both sides of burgers. Sprinkle with a pinch of Sel Gris. Set aside 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare Cool Avocado Raita: Mash avocado, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and sugar with a sturdy fork. Stir in yogurt and mint. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Cover tightly and set aside.
When grill is ready, place burgers over direct heat and sear 2-3 minutes on each side. Move to cooler part of grill(opposite the coals, or over turned off gas burner, close lid and grill 5-6 minutes longer, turning once, or until well browned and temperature reaches 165 F.(inside is colored from the spices so you can't judge doneness by peaking). Warm buns a few minutes on indirect heat, cut sides facing down. Remove and brush with olive oil. Place a few slices of cucumber on bun bottoms, sprinkle with a few grains of Sel Gris, and dill. Add burgers, and top with Raita. Close buns.
Serves 6

Comments 

My burgers are seared on a hot fire, then finished over lower heat, to cook through without burning. This is one instance where I like to close the grill lid. With burgers there's no need to marinate chicken for hours or days; the flavors blend in quickly.