- Place chicken in a medium-size bowl. Sprinkle with ginger, cumin, ground coriander and cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons (30 mL) yogurt and stir with a fork or work with your hands until well blended. Then sprinkle with fresh coriander and onions, if using, and stir just until evenly distributed. With wet hands, form mixture into 4 burgers, about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Alternatively, form into 1-inch (2.5-cm) meatballs or small “sausages” about 2-1/2 inches (6 cm) long. Set aside on a large plate.
- Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan set over medium-high heat. As soon as oil is hot, add burgers or, if making meatballs, add all in a single layer. Cook until lightly golden on all sides, from 3 to 4 minutes per side for burgers or 8 to 10 minutes for meatballs, turning often.
- Meanwhile, stir remaining 2 tablespoons (30 mL) yogurt into 1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water until blended. Pour into frying pan. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf and whole cloves, then bring to a boil. Partially cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook burgers, turning partway through, until most of liquid in pan has been absorbed or evaporated and no pink remains in centre of burgers, about 8 minutes. Or if cooking meatballs, stir and turn often until most of liquid in pan is evaporated, about 4 minutes. It may be necessary to increase heat near end of cooking.
- Remove burgers from pan, leaving spices. Serve on crusty buns with chutney, lime pickles or your favourite condiments. Serve meatballs or sausages as appetizers with a bowl of raita for dipping.
These ground chicken burgers are a lighter alternative to burgers made with ground beef. But rest assured–we haven’t compromised on taste. Mixed with a few spices, ground chicken becomes a delicacy. Proof is in these savoury burgers that we adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Illustrated Indian Cookery (McClelland & Stewart).