RECIPES: Recipe Details

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California Chaat Burgers (with Avocado Raita and Mango Kachumbar Relish)



2 pounds ground chuck

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons garam marsala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

1 teaspoon salt

Mango Kachumbar Relish

2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large ripe mango, finely diced

1/2 cup finely diced cucumber (peeled and seeded)

1/3 cup finely diced red onion

1 to 2 fresh red jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

Avocado Raita

1 ripe California Hass avocado, mashed

2 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup chopped (oil-packed) sun-dried tomatoes, drained

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

6 Kaiser rolls or onion rolls, split

6 red leaf lettuce leaves


Preheat a gas grill to medium-hot or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.

To make the patties, combine the beef chuck, garlic, ginger, garam marsala, cumin, coriander, and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the Relish, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, honey, and olive oil in medium bowl. Add the mango, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and mint. Refrigerate until serving.

To make the Raita, mash the avocado in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, yogurt, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, mint, honey, and salt. Refrigerate until serving.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last two minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, place a generous amount of the Avocado Raita over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a patty, and an equal amount of the Mango Relish. Add the roll tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers


Indian cuisine is slowly making its way into mainstream America. . .and it’s about time. My burgers were inspired by Chaat, the savory street foods of India, and the fresh flavors of California; Hass avocados, Meyer lemons, sun-dried tomatoes. The aroma of these Indian-spiced burgers as they grill is intoxicating. The Avocado Raita adds a cooling touch while the Mango Kachumbar Relish adds a sweet/ sour note. Enjoy this with a glass (or two) of Sutter Home White Merlot or Sutter Home White Zinfandel; what can I say, I love them both! The subtle sweetness of the wine pairs nicely with the spice of the burger.