Garam Masala Burgers with Balsamic Fig Sauce II (version # 2)

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.


½ cup chopped dried mission figs
1 cup pineapple juice
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
5 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
2 Tablespoons minced ginger, divided
2 teaspoons + 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala, divided
2 ¼ teaspoons gray salt, divided
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup tahini
1 egg
2 pounds ground chuck
2 Tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs
Colavita olive oil for brushing grill rack
6 slices pepper jack cheese
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
2 cups baby arugula
½ cup chopped cilantro



Preheat a gas grill to medium-high, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover. To make balsamic fig sauce, combine the figs, pineapple juice, vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire, 1 Tablespoon ginger, 2 teaspoons Garam Masala and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes and puree in a food processor or blender. Pour into a small bowl and set aside. To make patties, combine garlic, tahini, egg and 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire, 1 Tablespoon ginger in a large bowl. Add ground chuck, dry bread crumbs, 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala, and 2 teaspoons salt. Handling meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack, cover and grill until browned on the bottom, about 3-5 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, add cheese to patties and place buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a generous amount of balsamic fig sauce on the cut side of each bun. On bottom buns, place arugula leaves, a patty, and cilantro leaves. Add the top buns and serve. Makes 6 burgers.