Anjum Anand’s Best Ever Burger with Spiced Onions

Makes: 5 – 6

Looking back on every recipe I have typed from Anjum Anand’s cookbook I love India, I always start by praising the book and just how great it is: unusual recipes, great food photography, passionate stories, amazing meals.

So let’s not do that, nor dwell on how I start each burger recipe by talking about how much I love burgers and how the best burgers are about simplicity blah blah blah.

Instead, let’s talk about why you must set aside a lunch in the next week to cook this just awesome burger. I’m talking top three for me. 1. being Gordon Ramsay’s 1-Million Subscriber Burger, 2. being Neil Perry’s classic beef burger with cheese and bacon and 3. being this burger.

We didn’t invest as much in the mince as we usually would and second time round with a mixture of freshly ground chuck, brisket and lamb mince, I reckon this burger would nudge 2.

Possibly 1.

Don’t delay.

Ingredients

For the burgers
500gm minced beef or lamb (including some fat)
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 – 6 burger buns
1 large tomato, sliced

For the roasted green chilli yoghurt
3 large green chillies, stalks removed, pierced with the tip of a knife
2 rounded tbsp thick Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp crème fraîche (or mayonnaise)
Good handful of chopped coriander

For the spiced caramelised onions
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp panch phoran (or garam masala)
2 red onions thinly sliced

Method

  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the burgers except the tomatoes and the buns, season with 1 1/2 tsp salt and rest for 30 minutes.
  2. On a BBQ or a pan, cook the chillies until charred and blistered on all sides. Once done, wrap in cling wrap.
  3. Heat the oil in a fry pan and when hot, add the panch phoran. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the onions and add a good pinch of salt and cook over a high heat until they have coloured and are well browned on the edges. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.
  4. Mix together the yoghurt, crème fraîche and coriander for the topping, adding a good grinding of black pepper and salt lightly. Once the chillies are cool, peel off their skins, slit lengthways and deseeded, discarding the seeds. Chop the flesh, add to the yoghurt and set aside.
  5. Heat the BBQ/grill to HIGH. Make 5 – 6 large patties out of the minced meat mixture, remembering to make a little flat indent in the centre with your fingers; this will help them cook evenly and not puff up in the middle. (I did not know this, haven’t tried this though good point and will.)
  6. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 4 – 5 minutes until charred, flip and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Split the buns and char on the grill.
  7. Place 1 slice of the tomato on each bun, top with a burger, a generous dollop of the yoghurt and some onions. Place on the lid and eat immediately.

Gary Mehigan’s Karaage Chicken Burgers with Onion Slaw and Wasabi Mayo

Makes: 4

When it comes to burgers, we absolutely love it when we stumble on a burger that breaks into our top burgers of all time.* We can’t stop smiling.

And so here is one of those burgers, plated by my mother at a recent American-themed lunch. (And yes, I get that this burger, other than the bun and the fried chicken is the antithesis of an American burger!)

In his book, Gary references a time on Masterchef with Gordon Ramsay where Gordon was unimpressed by a challenge where contenstants plated up all manner of burgers; though where none of them were conventional or centered around a traditional patty.

As Gary says, Gordon might be right, though he hasn’t had this burger.

(Gordon is wrong. This is an excellent, excellent burger.)

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs
1/2 c katakuriko potato starch
1 c panko breadcrumbs
Peanut or sunflower oil for shallow-frying
4 soft brioche-style burger buns
1 ripe avacado, sliced
2 c mizuna or rocket leaves

Chicken marinade

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated

Onion slaw

1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 c shredded daikon
1 tbsp pickled ginger, finely chopped
1/4 c rice vinegar

Wasabi mayonaise

1/3 c Kewpie mayonnaise
2 – 3 tsp wasabi paste (depending on taste)

Method

  1. To make the marinade, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and stir through to coat. Cover and marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, for the onion slaw. combine all the ingredients and set aside. For the mayo, combine the ingredients and refridgerate until using.
  3. Combine the potato startch and panko crumbs in a bowl, then add the chicken pieces and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat.
  4. Prepare a tray with a wire rack and tongs and set to one side in preparation to fry the chicken, Pour oil into a deep frying pan to a depth of 1.5cm, then heat over a medium-high heat until the oil reaches 160c. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the temperature.
  5. Gently lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil with the tongs ad cook for 6 – 8 minutes, turning halfway, until evenly cooked through and crispy. You can check to see if the chicken is cooked using a thermometer – it should read above 65c. Lift the chicken from the oil with the tongs and place on a wire rack to drain. (If you feel that the chicken still needs a cooking nudge though you have already have a dark crunchy outside, place in an oven on 180c for a few minutes).
  6. Cut the buns in haf and cook under a grill until golden. Smear the cut side of the top half with a generous dollop of the wasabi mayonnaise. Place a little avacado and slaw on the base, add the crispy chicken, then the greens and sandwich together.

* Those burgers that Nat and I reckon have made that list – that have been absolute homeruns – are:

Anjum Anand’s Best Ever Burger with Spiced Onions
Gordon Ramsay 1-million Subscriber Burger (ironic I know)
Jamie Oliver’s Insanity Burger
Neil Perry’s ‘Hamburger’ (my favourite)

Slow-cooked Karnataka Pork Curry

Serves: 4

This great curry is from the I Love India cookbook by Anjum Anand.

I’ve written up a few of her recipes and nothing I have cooked hasn’t been a success. It is also a beautiful cookbook.

This particular curry has a really nice depth of favour and warmth about it. It is incredibly likeable and if you had to pick a curry to fill a baguette the next day for lunch, this is definitely it.

Certainly feel free to dial up the spice and we add an additional 300gm of pork shoulder.

Otherwise, this is perfect for a lazy Sunday evening with a big bowl of rice and a bottle of red.

Ingredients

For the curry

1 tbsp roughly chopped ginger
7 large garlic cloves
1 tomato, quartered
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
15 curry leaves
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 – 3 green chillies, stalks removed, pierced with a knife
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
500 gm pork shoulder, cut into 3cm cubes
4 tsp white wine vinegar
Handful of coriander, leaves and stalks to serve
Rice and Indian breads to serve

For the spice mix

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
3 small cloves
5mm cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
10 black peppercorns
Pinch of brown mustard seeds

Method

  1. Blend the ginger, garlic and tomato until fine, adding a little water to help the blades turn. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and, once the popping calms down, add the curry leaves, onions and 1 – 3 green chillies (depending on how many you are using; I recommend 3). Cook until really well browned, ensuring the mixture doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the blended paste, the turmeric, salt, cumin and chilli powder and cook well until all the liquid has reduced and the remaining masala releases oil, around 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dry-roast the spices for the spice blend for a minute: immediately grind to fine powder.
  5. Add the pork to the masala in the pan and brown a little in the paste. Add 3 tsp of the spice blend and the vinegar as well as a few splashes of water. Bring to the boil, then cover add simmer really slowly, stirring often and checking to see if you need to add any water.
  6. Cook for 1 – 2 hours or until the pork is really tender. Taste, adjust the seasoning adding more of the spice mix if you like, stir in the coriander and serve on rice with Indian breads.

Mumbai roadside hot lamb sandwich

Serves: 2

Well, this is pretty epic.

Saturday night after a long lunch epic.

Epic, as in spicy Indian mince lamb, sandwiched in baita roti and pan fried.

The recipe is from a wonderful book, I Love India by Anjum Anand, an incredibly fresh and indulgent cookbook where there is literally not one recipe we wouldn’t cook. If you love Indian and you love a Saturday-night, this book will blow your mind.

Anyway, this is an epic recipe as I said and one you should definitely line up for your next big Saturday night.

Ingredients

For the meat filling

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
200gm minced lamb
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1/2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped including seeds
1 small tomato, chopped
2/3 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt
1 small egg
Handful of chopped coriander leaves

For the wrap and to serve
Salt
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp vegetable oil
5 tbsp chutney

Method

  1. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the mince, garlic, ginger, chilli, tomato, spices and salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until the meat is soft and the excess liquid has evaporated; give the pan an occasional stir, breaking up the meat during the 20 minutes or so of cooking. Drain off any excess fat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dough: add the salt to the flour, with the oil and around 1/4 cup water. Knead until smooth ensuring that it isn’t too soft. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth until the lamb is done.
  3. Whisk the egg with a little salt and the coriander. Divide the dough in half and roll out 20 – 23cm squares, trying to roll the outer 3cm thinner than the rest.
  4. Heat a large fry-pan gently and add the remaining oil.
  5. Quickly make the stuffed rotis: place half the filling in the center of each flatbread, leaving a 7.5cm border along the edges. Spoon 3 tbsp of the egg over each. Bring down the upper edge, fold in the sides and the lower edge to enclose the filling, forming into a flat-ish square.
  6. Place straight into the hot pan, seams side down and cook until golden on both sides. Serve hot with the chutney.