Garam Masala Burgers with Balsamic Fig Sauce

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


½ cup chopped dried mission figs
1 cup pineapple juice
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
5Tablespoons 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
2 Tablespoons tahini
3 Tablespoons couscous
2 pounds ground chuck
1 egg, slightly beaten
Colavita olive oil for brushing grill rack
6 Tablespoons crumbled Feta cheese
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
1 cup 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, 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire, and 1 Tablespoon ginger in a small saucepan. Place on grill and heat until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in the couscous, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Place couscous mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes. Add ground chuck, egg, 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, top each patty with 1 Tablespoon Feta 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, lay arugula leaves, a patty, and a generous amount of cilantro. Add the top buns and serve. Makes 6 burgers.