Hellman Hamburgers

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

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

I recently visited an Afghani restaurant for the first time and was blown away by the delicious Kaddo appetizer, which is pumpkin seasoned with sugar, served on a garlic yogurt sauce, and topped with a tomato ground beef sauce.I immediately thought it would be fun to twist this dish into a super flavorful burger!


Afghani Spiced Patties:

1/2 cup grated yellow onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 pounds ground beef chuck

Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon dried mint flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

Sweet Pumpkin and Squash Pancakes:

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 cups coarsely grated butternut squash

1 large egg, whisked

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil


Canola oil for brushing the grill rack

6 high quality hamburger buns, split


To make the patties, place the onion, garlic, tomato paste, coriander, tumeric, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Gently but thoroughly mix in the ground beef and shape the mixture into 6 patties. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the yogurt sauce, mix yogurt, garlic, mint flakes, and salt together in a small bowl until smooth and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the sweet pumpkin and squash pancakes, place pumpkin puree and sugar in a small fireproof stockpot on the grill and heat for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring well. Place pumpkin in a large bowl and mix in grated butternut squash, egg, flour, baking powder, and salt. Divide into 6 equal portions. Heat 1/4 cup canola oil in a large fireproof skillet on the grill and drop the 3 of the divided mounds of the pumpkin/squash mixture into the pan. Press down slightly with a spatula until pancakes are about the same size as the hamburger buns. Fry 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining 1/4 cup oil and 3 portions of the pumpkin/squash mixture.

Brush the grill rack with canola oil. Place the burger patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done to preference. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, place a sweet pumpkin and squash pancake on the bottom piece of each bun. Place a patty on top of the pancake and evenly spread the yogurt spread on top of each burger and cut side of the burger tops. Add the burger tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.