Mama’s Firey Madras Style Burgers with Freshly Grilled Cilantro Onion and Garlic Naan Buns

Pairs well with:


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


Grilled Cilantro Onion and Garlic Naan Buns:
1 cup warm water
1 package dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons coconut milk
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt

Red Pepper and Cucumber Raitha:
8 ounces plain yogurt
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 English cucumber, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
Zest of 1 lime

Firey Madras Style Burgers:
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped gingerroot
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 medium size Serrano peppers, finely minced with seeds and membranes of one of the peppers discarded
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef

To serve:
2 avocados, peeled seeded and mashed
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
1 large tomato, sliced into 6 slices
6 large to medium size leaves of butter lettuce with spines removed


In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy. Add the sugar, egg and coconut milk; gently stir. Stir in three cups of the flour a cup at a time until a soft dough is formed. Using the remainder of the four, sprinkle onto a dry surface and knead for approximately 6 minutes, adding more flour to the surface if the dough becomes too sticky, until a soft, elastic dough is formed. Place dough into a large, well oiled bowl, flip over to coat all sides, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to double in size, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, make the raitha by placing the yoghurt, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, mint and lime zest into a medium size bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the patties, melt the butter in a small heatproof sauce pan over the hottest part of the grill. To the pot, add the onions, gingerroot, garlic and Serrano peppers; sauté until the onions begin to soften. Add the coriander, cumin, allspice, chili powder, and adobo sauce; stir well, remove from the heat and cool for a minute or two. Place the onion mixture, coconut, salt and ground beef in a large bowl, mix well being careful not to over work the meat. Divide into 6 equal portions and form into patties. Cover the patties and refrigerate until ready to cook.

After the dough has risen, punch down and add the cilantro, onion and garlic; knead to incorporate the ingredients; transfer to a floured surface and divide into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place on a well oiled surface about 4″ apart, cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray and allow to rise in a warm place for an additional 20 – 30 minutes.

Preheat an outdoor gas grill to medium. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray. Place each dough ball on the grill, leaving a couple of inches in between. Close the lid and allow buns to bake for 3-4 minutes, watching carefully so that they do not burn. Brush the uncooked side with a small bit of butter before turning. Brush the cooked side with the remaining butter and sprinkling with the Kosher salt. Replace the lid and baking for an additional 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and keep warm until ready to use.

Kick the grill heat up to medium high, close the lid and let the grill preheat for a couple of minutes. Place the patties on the grill and cook for 6 minutes before turning and cooking for an additional 5 – 6 minutes on the other side. Remove and cover with foil and rest for a few minutes.

While the patties are resting, slice the naan buns in half and spread one half of the buns with equal amounts of the mashed avocado and a good sprinkling of the fresh cilantro, top with a patty, then top the patty with a slice of tomato, top that with a piece of lettuce then a heaping tablespoon of the raitha and finally the other half of the naan bun. Serve immediately or secure with a couple of toothpicks and cut in half before serving.

Serves 6.