This book is packed full of delicious meals inspired and conjured up by Reza’s time in India, France and England. You can make a quick dish, slow burners or just give a traditional burger that spicy twist. Once you’ve made them you’ll never want to eat a plain burger again. 'This burger is in a league of its own!' says Reza. 'Minced chicken can be boring, but the mushrooms in this burger mix make it stay lovely and juicy and the spices send it to a heavenly level. Serve the burgers in toasted buns, with sliced onion and tomato, lettuce leaves and chutney.”
Spicy chicken burger recipe by Reza Mahammad
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds 100g mushrooms
500g minced chicken
1 onion, grated
2 tsp grated root ginger
2 tsp crushed garlic
1–2 green chillies, deseeded if you like, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves finely grated zest of 1 lime
2 tsp garam masala
freshly ground black pepper vegetable oil
Put the cumin seeds into a dry frying pan over a medium heat and stir until they are fragrant and have turned a shade darker. Tip into a mortar and grind to a powder with the pestle.
Blitz the mushrooms in a food processor. Put all the ingredients except the oil into a mixing bowl, knead well and combine thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so. Divide into eight portions and form each into a burger shape.
To cook, you can shallow-fry the burgers over a medium heat in a frying pan or on a griddle. For a healthier option, lightly brush the burgers with oil and place on a rack under a hot grill. Turn halfway through cooking. In either case, the burgers should only take three minutes each side. Check they are thoroughly cooked: cut a burger through to the middle, it should be white with no trace of pink.
Tomato and ginger chutney
A great relish for your burger, this is a wonderful all rounder.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1⁄2 tsp asafoetida
1⁄2 tsp chilli powder
5 tbsp chopped root ginger 250g tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp tomato purée
200g jaggery or brown sugar 2 tsp mustard seeds
20 fresh curry leaves
5 dried red chillies, halved
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan and, when hot, add the asafoetida and chilli powder. Allow to sizzle, then add the ginger and cook for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add the jaggery and 120ml of water and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
Put the remaining oil into a frying pan over a high heat. When very hot, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried chillies. Add to the chutney. Stir and add salt to taste.
Taken from Reza’s Indian Spice, Eastern recipes for Western cooks by Reza Mahammad (Quadrille).
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Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor
View all posts by Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor