I have been a lover of junk food, for as long as I can remember. When instant noodles first came into the market, I had to pester my parents to buy me some. I loved the street side samosas and mirchi bajji in my hometown so much that when I came home from my college hostel during my engineering days, dad would oblige me by bringing these street snacks on his way home from office. And on such days, I would be allowed to have my fill of such deep fried ‘nothing good for you in it’ junk food to the extent of skipping home-made dinner. I haven’t changed.
Today i still prefer a chicken burger and pizza to say freshly fire roasted ‘corn on the cob’ or a fruit salad. And as long as I have known her, my sister preferred the latter to the former. And growing up together in the same household, we were diametrically opposite when it came to food. How my mother still cooked every meal to satisfy us both kids is a mystery I ponder about now. I didn’t expect cooking and writing to make me this nostalgic.
As a kid if my parents did their bit to prevent me from binging on junk food to my heart’s content, it’s the dear husband who has taken over that duty now. He won’t let me a near McChicken burger because ‘you don’t know what leftover parts they are using in it’. So I decided to make my chicken burger at home, buying some chicken mince and burger buns from a supermarket we trust. And here’s how I went about fulfilling my fantasy.
- 400 grams chicken mince
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2-3 stalks of spring onion
- 1 small tomato
- a handful of fresh coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic spread (I used funfoods brand) or use a tablespoon of any hot sauce you prefer
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (i blitzed two slices of wholewheat brown bread)
- salt and pepper to taste
For assembling the burger
Oil for frying
2 burger buns
2 tablespoons of relish or mayonnaise
onion, tomato and cheese slices
Finely chop the spring onions, tomato, and coriander. Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. You can sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper or there abouts as you don't really want to do a taste test of raw chicken. If you prefer hot and spicy chicken patties, i would recommend 2 green chilies finely chopped, i didn't use it this time, but i will next time.
Combine all the ingredients with your fingers. Shape into 5-6 patties, or if likes me you are just cooking for two, make two patties about half inch thick and remaining into small lime sized balls to snack on after shallow frying them.
Heat a large frying pan or griddle (or even a grill) and spread a tablespoon of oil on it. Shallow fry the patties and chicken balls for about 6-8 minutes on medium high heat, turning in between. Fry in batches so as not to crowd them and use a little more oil if required.
To assemble the burger, fry the burger buns lightly to heat them through. Spread a tablespoon of relish or mayonnaise (whatever you prefer, i like relish) on the bottom bread, put the patty on, then a slice of cheese, a slice of onion and a slice of tomato. Put a toothpick through the middle of the burger to prevent the different parts from falling off. Serve with some fries or some sliced pickled jalapenos, onion and tomato salad.
You can get the onion and tomato slices ready while the burger patties are cooking. You can put the chicken balls onto a skewer for more even frying and possibly better presentation for serving too.