Tandoori-Style Chicken Burgers

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

When you want something deliciously different for lunch: This burger is made with all of the seasonings and spices used in tandoori cooking, so the flavors really ring true.


  • 1 ½ pounds (4 to 5) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into rough chunks

  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger (from a peeled 2-inch piece)

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for grates

  • 4 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas

  • 1 cucumber (8 ounces), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro sprigs

  • Cumin Yogurt Sauce

  • Watermelon slices (optional)


  1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a medium bowl, place chicken, scallions, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Set aside to marinate, at least 10 and up to 30 minutes.

  2. Transfer chicken mixture to a food processor; pulse until roughly chopped, but not pasty, 10 to 12 times. Gently form mixture into sixteen 3/4-inch-thick patties (about 3 tablespoons each).

  3. Moisten a folded paper towel with oil; grasp with tongs and rub over grates. Season patties with salt and pepper; grill until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

  4. Halve pitas crosswise (toast on grill, if you like). Into each pocket, place 2 chicken patties, cucumber slices, and cilantro sprigs. Serve with Cumin Yogurt Sauce and, if desired, watermelon slices.

Cook's Notes

To keep burgers juicy, resist the urge to press patties down during grilling.

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