Chai Burger Chai Burger

I am an unapologetic fan of turkey burgers, but you’ll NEVER catch me ordering one out. They’re usually dry, mealy and utterly tasteless. The impulse to cook the heck out of them always prevails over common sense and the trusted “touch test”. (The burger should be slightly firm with a bit of give–like the fleshy lump on your hand between your thumb and forefinger when your palm is flat but not flexed)

Otherwise mild, verging on bland, ground turkey takes seasoning so beautifully, making it, in my mind, the ideal protein for burgers. A little chile powder, cumin and jalapeño yields a Latin-flavored burger, whereas ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce and chile yields a Thai-flavored burger. The one here, tonight’s dinner, is seasoned with garam masala, ginger and chile powder  for an Indian burger. And like Thanksgiving dinner, turkey burgers are always better with condiments. In this case, spicy mayo and mango chutney.


For a super fast chutney in a pinch, I’ve simmered apricot preserves with curry powder, ginger and raisins.


1 1/4 pounds ground turkey

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger

1 garlic clove, grated

1 teaspoon Kosher salt (Diamond crystal)

Oil for brushing

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 Potato rolls

Mango Chutney for serving

Sliced red onions and potato chips for serving

  1. In a bowl, combine the turkey with the onion,  chile powder, the garam masala, ginger, garlic and  salt. Using slightly moistened hands, form the mixture into four patties about 3/4-inch thick and brush with oil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the sriracha and sesame oil.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning once until golden and crusty and just cooked through,  about 8 to 10 minutes. Place the burgers on the buns and top with the spicy mayonnaise, chutney and red onion. Close the burgers and serve with crunchy potato chips.

2 thoughts on “Chai Burger Chai Burger

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