Grills ablaze with sizzling steaks over smoldering charcoals – the quintessential sights, smells, and sounds that ring in the start of summer. Memorial Day is no exception, when more Americans barbeque outdoors than any other holiday with the exception of the 4th of July. Both occasions are prime opportunities to showcase unique grilling recipes for family and friends.
Indian Foodis making its way into the culinary mainstream. The Next Idea Restaurant Consultants, predicts this emerging flavor trend to pop up throughout restaurant menus everywhere. Curries, Naan bread, and Raita-like yogurt dips are Indian cuisine staples that will be popular menu items as this forthcoming trend gains industry momentum.
Curry spice blends can vary and in India, each family may have their own signature spice combination. These chicken burgers get an exotic flavor boost from any store bought blend. With the addition of a few extra ingredients and a tangy-sweet chutney laced aioli, these Pita wrapped chicken burgers are far from traditional BBQ fare.
Without the higher level of fat that beef contains, chicken burgers often need a little help to stay formed. Adding breadcrumbs and egg to the chicken mixture will help bind all the ingredients to ensure your burger stays intact on the grill. If baking the burgers, the egg and breadcrumbs can be omitted. Feel free to substitute with gluten free breadcrumbs if desired.
Making plain old grilled vegetables interesting can be a challenge. But by taking an Indian staple ingredient such as yogurt and using it to mimic the often heavy mayonnaise that drenches potato and pasta salads, you can create a zesty dressing for vegetables with a fraction of the fat and calories. The spiced mint yogurt dressing recipe below is a refreshing accent to zucchini or anything you have going on the grill.
Showcase the bountiful fresh herbs and produce available in the summer by switching up seasonal standards like hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad for India’s spicy substitutes. Add these light and flavorful Indian inspired recipes into your grilling repertoire and give your guests a break from the bun.
Grilled Curried Chicken Burgers in Pita with Chutney Aioli.
Charred Zucchini Salad with SpicedMint Yogurt Dressing.
Curried Chicken Burgers –
4 Pita Pockets
Optional – Cheese for burgers (Paneer, which is an Indian Farmers Cheese or smoked gouda, mild cheddar, or feta would all work great)
1 lb ground chicken
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh minced garlic
¼ cup cilantro, minced
2 tsp curry powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp sweet paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Oil for grilling.
Optional Lettuce, Tomato, & Onion for assembly.
For the Chutney Aioli –
1/2 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup mango chutney
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Chutney Aioli Directions:
- Combine all ingredients in bowl with whisk until mixture is uniform and chutney is completely incorporated.
- Keep refrigerated until serving.
Chicken Burger Directions:
- Light your grill and maintain a medium heat level.
- In a large bowl, add ground chicken and all herbs, spices & seasonings. Mix well to combine.
- Add egg and bread crumbs and continue to mix until all ingredients are uniformly combined.
- Form into four ¼ lb patties.
- Brush grill with oil and place burgers directly on grill grates
- Cook for 3-4 minutes and rotate burger 45 degrees on grill to create diamond hash marks.
- Once burger patty is rotated, cook another 3-4 minutes then flip.
- Repeat grilling process on second side of burger. A total of 6-8 minutes per side. (If adding cheese, top each burger for the final 2 minutes to melt)
- After 12-16 minutes and the chicken is cooked through, remove patties from grill and cover with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes. (Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees).
- While burgers rest, brush pita pockets with oil and grill for 1-2 minutes per side to toast.
- Serve burgers in pita pocket with a spoonful of chutney aioli, and choice of fixings – lettuce, tomato, or onion.
Charred Zucchini Salad with Yogurt Dressing
3 Whole Zucchini, medium size
1 half red onion
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Yogurt Dressing –
1/3 cup Plain Yogurt
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp chopped mint
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp sweet paprika
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Directions for Yogurt Dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in bowl
- Whisk thoroughly to combine.
Directions for Zucchini Salad:
- Cut zucchini into quarters, lengthwise.
- Cut onion in half, lengthwise.
- Coat zucchini and onion with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- On a medium high heat Grill, arrange vegetables on grates and grill evenly on all sides until tender.
- Remove vegetables from grill and let cool to room temperature.
- Before serving, slice zucchini quarters into uniform cubes.
- Dice grilled red onion.
- Mix grilled vegetables with yogurt dressing and refrigerate.
- Serve Charred Zucchini Salad with yogurt dressing chilled.