There are certain flavors that I REALLY love. Peruse my previous posts, and you’ll discover recipe after recipe with various measurements of chili powder, cilantro, cumin, and – of course – garlic. They’re all spices that yield wonderful recipes with bold flavors, especially when they’re used in concert with one and other, and I love them.
But – every so often – I like to depart from them (almost) entirely.
For this recipe, I’ve leveraged flavors from Northwest India (Kashmiri Curry) and Eastern Africa (Berbere) as a departure from the spices of the Mediterranean (cumin and garlic), East Asia (cilantro) and South America (chili powder). Although these spice concoctions are both complex and unique, they’re also relatively easy to find. While those tiny jars in the picture are the result of a fruitful foray through World Spice Merchants in Pike Place (the best smelling store on earth), I’ve found jars of these spices both online and at our regular grocery store.
Berbere (pronounce BER-BER-UH) is a delightfully complex mixture comprised of 14 basic spcies, including chiles, allspice, cinnamon, coriander and ginger. It introduces a smoky sweetness to the dish.
For those of you who have declared a distaste for Indian food following an experience at an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet (like me), try not to be turned off by the use of Kashmiri curry. This version of curry emphasizes the comforting flavors of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, with less of a focus on those traditional “curry” spices (reminiscent of vats of mushy vegetables), like cumin and especially turmeric.
To be very honest, if you’d like to try out these patties without springing for a couple bottles of new, more foreign, spices, you COULD replace the Berbere with a smoky chili powder, and the curry with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of cumin. Though, be warned, the resulting flavor would obviously differ pretty significantly.
If you’d like to switch it up a bit more (and possibly add some more carbs to the mix), these would also make good burgers or sliders, and would be great on the grill!
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 can (15 oz) chic peas – drained and pureed in a food processor
- 1 tsp Berbere
- 1 tsp Kashmiri curry
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- zest and juice of 2 lemons – divided
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 head of butter lettuce
- 2 cups snap peas – rough chopped
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, pureed chic peas, Berbere, curry, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the zest of one lemon and the juice of half a lemon. Fold the ingredients together until well-combined. Use your hands: it’s good to get a little messy. Form the mixture into small (2-3 inch) patties.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the patties in the olive oil, flipping once, until they’re cooked though but still moist (about 3 minutes per side). They should be a nice golden brown color.
For the lemon yogurt, combine the yogurt, 1/2 of a tablespoon of olive oil, the zest of 1/2 a lemon, the juice of a whole lemon and a pinch each of salt and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl, and whisk it all together.
For the salad, wash and tear the leaves of the butter lettuce, and combine them with the chopped snap peas, and toss it all together with the remaining lemon juice and zest (should be about 1/2 a lemon each), a half tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
To serve, place a good portion of salad, a dollop of the yogurt mixture, and few patties on each plate. Top it off with a sprinkle of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, and enjoy the new flavors!