Passage to India Burgers with Avocado Chutney and Mango Kachumbar

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

In my single days, though I lived in Southern California, I was fortunate enough to travel to London quite often.Instead of coming home with a love for steak and kidney pie, I developed a love of Indian food. Much like the Starbucks of today, there were Indian take-out restaurants on almost every corner. The intoxicating aromas and unique spice blends made me an instant convert. Given how experimental and adventurous most of my friends are when it comes to food, it always surprises me how many are not familiar with Indian cuisine. To make these burgers more approachable I’ve incorporated some California elements, as well. Hopefully, these burgers will make them converts, too.


Avocado Chutney:

1 ripe California Avocado, peeled and diced

1/2 cup plain Real California yogurt

1-1/2 tablespoons honey

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup cilantro leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Mango Kachumbar:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and sliced

2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced

1/2 small English cucumber, sliced

1/2 small red onion, sliced


2 pounds ground chuck

1 tablespoon pressed or minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1-1/4 tablespoons garam marsala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

6 small thick pita breads, sliced horizontally


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

To make the Avocado Chutney, combine avocado, yogurt, honey, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, cilantro, mint, and lemon juice in food processor; process until smooth and blended. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To make the Mango Kachumbar, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, olive oil and jalapeno in medium bowl. Add mango, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion; tossing gently to coat.

To make the burger patties, combine the ground chuck, garlic, ginger, garam marsala, cumin, coriander, and salt in large bowl. Handling the 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 pita breads.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the pita breads, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread cut sides of pita breads with Avocado Chutney, on each bread bottom place a burger patty and an equal portion of the Mango Kachumbar. Add the bread tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers