Bengali Blaze Burgers

Accolades 2010 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers
Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.

I hope this burger can help present Indian flavors to a wider audience and help give Indian cooking the credit it deserves.


Tamarind Chutney

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 

Grilled Red Onion Raita

  • 2 unpeeled medium red onions
  • 1 cup organic whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar 

Crunchy Carrot Salad

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and julienned or grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1/4 cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  • 6 pieces high-quality naan bread, cut in half crosswise


To make the chutney, combine all of the chutney ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil on a gas grill over medium heat, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is thick, 20 to 30 minutes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush the raisins and dates and thoroughly incorporate them into the mixture. Set aside.

To make the raita, heat the grill to medium-high. Grill the onions, turning often, until the skins start to blister and turn dark/black, about 10 minutes. Set aside. When cool enough to handle, peel and chop the onions, being sure to keep any juices that release from the onions. Combine the yogurt, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the onions and their juices. Taste and add more salt and spices if desired.

To make the salad, place the garlic on a cutting board and add a pinch of the salt. Chop the garlic and then use the back of a knife to smash it against the board to make a paste. Combine the garlic paste and the vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the mustard, pepper, olive oil, and remaining salt and whisk until emulsified. Add the carrots and mint and toss to coat. Set aside.

To make the patties, combine the garlic, onion, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl and mix to evenly blend. Add the beef and Sauvigon Blanc. Mix to incorporate, being careful not to overly mix. Form into 6 equal patties. Use your fingers to form a 2-inch indentation in the center of each patty, leaving the edges of each patty raised; when the patty is cooked, the center will raise to be the same level as the edges.

Heat the grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and cover the grill. Cook until the desired doneness is reached, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the naan bread on the grill to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, spread equal amounts of the chutney on half of the bread pieces and spread equal amounts of the raita on the remaining pieces. Place the patties on the chutney-spread naan pieces and top with the carrot salad. Top with the raita-spread naan pieces and serve.

NOTE: To toast and grind spices, place them in a dry small fire-proof skillet on the grill over medium-low heat. Stir just until you start to smell them, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a space grinder and grind.