Masala Burger Recipe

Masala Burger Recipe Recipe

Here's a new take on the American burger classic! Spice up your traditional barbecue menu by adding flavors from India.

Masala burgers would make a perfect addition to your spread this Memorial Day weekend. They're a welcome change from regular beef burgers. I've made fusion burgers in the past, including keema burgers made with Indian-style ground beef. This time, I flavored hamburger patties with garam masala, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and red chili powder. I also changed the condiments; I substituted kachumbar (Indian salsa), my own concoction of raita (Indian yogurt sauce) and tamarind sauce for the ordinary ketchup, mayo, mustard and pickle relish.


Yields: 6 burgers

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons raw red onions, finely diced
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (see tips)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), melted
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons jalapeño pepper (to taste), finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1-¼ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons canola oil, as needed
¼ cup caramelized onions (see tips)
½ cup date-tamarind chutney (click on the link), optional
½ cup spicy kachumbar (Indian-style salsa)
3/4 cup raita (click on the link)
6 lettuce leaves
6 hamburger buns, toasted


Preparing the masala burger mixture:

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with a silicone brush. Combine the ground beef, red onions, ginger garlic paste, ground cumin, turmeric powder, red chili powder, paprika, garam masala, green chile pepper and fresh mint. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Mix well.

Checking the seasoning: In a small pan, heat about 1 teaspoon of canola oil. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes. Taste the meat. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.

Finish by adding the melted ghee to the meat mixture.

Assembly time:

Grease disposable gloves with oil. Form 6 round patties and place them on a tray. Chill them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (this step will make the cooking of the patties much easier).

Remove the patties from the freezer. Brush the patties with a little oil.

Brush a grill pan with the remaining canola oil. Grill all the hamburger buns. Transfer to a platter.

On the same grill pan, place the patties. Cook for about 3-4minutes on each side (covered) until there is a nicely browned crust and there are grilling marks on both sides of the patties. Transfer to a platter.

Spread a thin layer of date-tamarind chutney on each bun. Spoon raita. Stack a beef burger and kachumbar. Spread 1-2 teaspoons of caramelized onions on the other bun side. Finish with the top of the bun.

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!

Indian Burger Recipe with Picture


You've probably noticed I use ginger garlic paste a lot in my cooking. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well. Just clean the ginger, carefully removing any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife or the edge of a spoon, then finely chop it. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender and, add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.

How to caramelize onions: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan. Add thinly sliced onions. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. To save time, I often have already-caramelized onions on hand in the freezer. I suggest making them in advance in large batches. Just place about 1 tablespoon of tightly packed fried onions per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn.

You can either make your own garam masala spice mix or buy it at any Indian store.

garam masal recipe

You could also store the remaining un-seared beef patties in the freezer. Using a tray, chill the patties (placing little squares of parchment underneath each patty) for about 1 hour in the freezer. Once hardened, stack the patties with the parchment squares between them to prevent them to from sticking to each other. Place the stack in a large re-sealable bag (remove as much air as possible from the bag). I think it's the best way to keep the flavor without getting freezer burn. The burgers can be stored up to 1 month in the freezer. Don't forget to label your food with the date!

You could also serve these as mini appetizers using mini hamburger buns.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 25, 2011.


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