Me: “It is so hot these days. Summer is here.”
Yuvan: “AC podu ma” (Switch on AC)
Yuvan: “Vathal pota summer poiduma?” (Will summer go away if you make vathals?)
I guffawed. He smiled, pleased that he had cracked me up. He genuinely didn’t understand how my “vathal making” made any difference (“Nee vathal pota yenna podalena yenna?”).
Yuvi and I have been at loggerheads for the past week and a half because of his exams. He wasn’t pleased that he was doing all the writing and I wasn’t. He swore that he’d make me write hundreds of pages just like he was writing (2 pages). After he put away his books, sharpened his pencils and put away his bag for the next day, he came up to me and gave me a sheaf of papers. He had drawn rows and columns and written an alphabet in each little box. He wanted me to write A, B, C, D… till Z and repeat in each of those sheets. I looked at his serious face seeking justice, revenge. I took the papers from him and started writing A,B,C.
He wanted to eat burger, he told me – “With the leaf and sauce and chicken”. So I made chicken burger for him stacking cheese, onions, lettuce and chicken. He opened up the bun, took down the chicken cutlet, set aside the lettuce and made a deconstructed burger platter. He then ate his favourite parts – the chicken, bun, cheese, onion and sauce and left out the lettuce and tomato. He liked it, he said.
Like most homes, I have one who likes burgers and two who don’t and one who abstains, two who like pasta and two who don’t, two who like chutney and two who don’t, two who like sambar rice and two who don’t, three who like Pongal and one who doesn’t. I manage with zero consensus on most dishes. I make do with coercion and blackmail (no movie, no colouring, no TV). Or I offer a more hated alternative which immediately makes this one look better – podi instead of chutney? Curd rice instead of sambar rice?
Go ahead and make these chicken burgers with or without consensus. They’re easier than you think. The chicken patties are really simple to put together belying their crispy, juicy yumminess. You could spice them up a bit more if you wish. But this basic recipe will stand you in good stead when you want to make your own homemade burgers.
For the Burger
- Burger buns – 6
- Cheese slices – 6
- Tomato – 1 sliced thin
- Onion – 1 sliced thin
- Lettuce – 6 leaves washed and patted dry
- Mayonnaise – ½ cup
- Butter – ¼ cup
For the chicken patty
- Chicken breast – 300 gm diced
- Onion – 1 small roughly chopped
- Garlic – 3 cloves
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper powder – 1-1/2 tsp
- Paprika powder – 1 tsp
- Milk – ¼ cup
- Breadcrumbs – 2 cups
- Cooking oil – for frying
- 1. First make the patties. In a mixer grinder, add the onion and garlic and pulse to grind roughly. Add in the diced chicken and pulse-grind in short bursts to mince the chicken. Transfer the chicken mixture from the grinder into a large bowl.
- 2. Add milk, salt, pepper, paprika and about ½ cup bread crumbs and mix well to form a thick shape-able mixture. Add a little bit more bread crumbs if necessary. Shape into round patties, dredge in the remaining bread crumbs and freeze for half an hour or until frying time.
- 3. Add oil to a pan for shallow frying (about 1 inch height). Heat oil until hot. Gently slide in the patties without overcrowding the pan and cook on medium heat flipping over in between until both sides are golden brown. Remove on to absorbent paper.
- 4. Slice each of the burger buns in two and spread butter on the inner sides. Place the buttered buns on a hot tawa, skillet buttered side down and cook for a minute on low heat. When the undersides are nice and toasted, remove the buns from the tawa.
- 5. Place the lower side of the bun on the tawa, top each one with a cheese slice, cover and cook on low heat for a min or until the cheese melts. Remove the cheese toasted buns on to a plate.
- 6. Spread mayonnaise on inner side of the other half of the bun.
- 7. To assemble the burger, place the chicken patty on the cheese toasted bun, top with onion and tomato slices and lettuce. Close with the mayonnaise slathered bun. Enjoy!