As much as I love making turkey burgers and Italian sausage skewers, right now I'm craving something a little exotic, so tonight I'll be lighting up the grill for a portable version of a South Asian favorite: tandoori chicken.

In this contemporary rendition, I'm using the tandoor's trademark spices — such as cumin, cayenne, and ginger — but since I don't have a clay oven to call my own, I'm cooking the chicken on a barbecue, then serving it in a hefty pita pocket with tangy cumin-scented yogurt sauce. Tempt your tastebuds when you read more.

Tandoori-Style Chicken Burgers

Tandoori-Style Chicken Burgers

Fast & Easy Recipe For Tandoori-Style Chicken Burgers 2009-07-31 19:38:04

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds (4 to 5) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into rough chunks
4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger (from a peeled 2-inch piece)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for grates
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas
1 cucumber (8 ounces), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
Watermelon slices (optional)

Cumin yogurt sauce:
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a medium bowl, place chicken, scallions, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Set aside to marinate, at least 10 and up to 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken mixture to a food processor; pulse until roughly chopped, but not pasty, 10 to 12 times. Gently form mixture into sixteen 3/4-inch-thick patties (about 3 tablespoons each).
  3. Moisten a folded paper towel with oil; grasp with tongs and rub over grates. Season patties with salt and pepper; grill until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. For the Cumin Yogurt Sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin; season with coarse salt and ground pepper.
  5. Halve pitas crosswise (toast on grill, if you like). Into each pocket, place 2 chicken patties, cucumber slices, and cilantro sprigs. Serve with cumin yogurt sauce and, if desired, watermelon slices.

Serves 4.