Kabab style burger topped with sweet cumin-spiced buttery eggplant & red onion

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Get cozy and get pouring. Our Merlot is the wine for long weekends and lengthy chats.

America is a melting pot of cultures and right now, there is a heavy influence from Asian cultures.A fairly newcomer to the Asian panorama features the South Asian culture. Although South Asians are fairly new to the American scene, they are making a dramatic impact, especially with their spicy blends & cooking techniques. An array of spices, used primarily in South Asian cooking, can now be found in grocery stores adjacent to popular Western spices such as Sage, Rosemary, Thyme & other. Americans are craving foods with aromatic masalas and this recipe features them. My heritage is South Asian and this recipe uses blends featuring both East & West. I hope people’s visual, olfactory and taste palette will welcome this addition.


2 lbs 85% ground chuck
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, finely minced
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 large egg
2 tbsp white flour
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
1 large red onion, sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
6 onion buns, sliced in half
1 can grill resistant cooking spray
6 slices colby jack cheese
1 tsp soy sauce
6 tbsp tomato ketchup
6 leaves of romaine lettuce, larger than bun size
6 slices of tomato, 1/2″ thick slices


In a small mixing bowl, combine garam masala, chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp cumin to make a spice mixture. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine ground chuck, spice mixture, cilantro, tomatoes, onion & egg. Mix well. Then, slowly incorporate white flour into meat mixture. Set aside mixture for 10 minutes allowing flavors to blend.

In a small mixing bowl, mix 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp salt and brown sugar to create a sweet & spicy blend. Mix well. Then, in a separate bowl add butter into which, incorporate the sweet & spicy blend; mix well. Now, take the 6 largest slices of eggplant & red onion and spread this sweet & spiced butter mixture over both sides.

Form 6 patties and press thumb 1/4 of the way into the middle of each patty. Grill patties, eggplant & red onion slices on gas grill @ 400 F for 4 minutes on each side. Spray the cut sides of the onion buns with grill resistant cooking spray and, during the last 2 minutes of grilling, grill buns. Finally, during the last minute of grilling, add slice of cheese to each patty.

To serve:
Combine soy sauce & ketchup creating the condiment. Spread 1 tbsp soy ketchup onto the cut side of each onion bun top. Now, plate layers as follows: Bottom of onion bun, lettuce leaf, tomato slice, grilled kabab patty w/cheese, grilled red onion slice, grilled eggplant slice, top of onion bun.