Tandoori chicken burgers: Grilling season is here!

There’s nothing better than a homemade burger, fresh off the BBQ. Now I know there are those who barbeque year round, but we’re more fair-weather griller. Which is why when spring hits, we clean the grill and I hunt for a few new burger recipes

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There is nothing better (in my opinion) than a homemade burger, fresh off the barbeque. A sure sign flip flop weather is here. Now I know there are those who barbeque year round, but we’re more fair-weather grillers in this house. Which is why when spring hits, we clean the grill and I hunt for a few new burger recipes. and I really enjoyed this one: Chatelaine’s Tandoori chicken burgers with raita.

I’m a bit of a ground chicken snob – it has to be white meat. It all started when I made chicken puree (which, by the way, is a disgusting process) for mini sous chef and realized most ground chicken ends up looking grey. So I spend more on ground chicken than I should, but this recipe made six decent-sized burgers – definitely less costly than getting take-out.

The thing I love about (homemade) burgers, aside from the taste, is how easy they are to make. And this recipe was no exception. There are only four ingredients: ground chicken, plain yogurt, tandoori paste, and panko bread crumbs. I couldn’t find paste, so I used a tandoori marinade and it worked just fine. And if you’ve never used panko breadcrumbs (you can typically find them in the grocery store beside the sushi display), don’t try to substitute regular crumbs. The panko crumbs are really better. Ground chicken is also much softer than beef, so if you’ve never worked with it, be prepared. You won’t want to work the meat too enthusiastically (I like to use my hands for mixing). The final step, and this is critical, is to put a dimple in the centre of each burger. Why? It keeps the patty from shrinking as it cooks.

Once the patties are made they go on the grill for 5 minutes each side. While chef in training manned the BBQ, I prepped the raita. Why have I never made raita before? Easy. Delicious. It’s a combo of plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt), thinly sliced baby cucumbers, green onion and cilantro (or mint). The only tricky part was trying to slice the cucumber thinly enough. And might I recommend doing the slicing before enjoying a beer or similar beverage? My fingers did not suffer, but it was close a few times.

The chicken burgers went on toasted naan and were covered in the fresh, creamy raita. And they were so good. The tandoori gave a slight hint of sweet spice, and the raita complemented the burgers beautifully. Thumbs up for our first BBQ meal of the season!

Try this recipe: Tandoori chicken burgers with raita