Chapli Burgers

FOR BURGERS:
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh or dried pomegranate seeds
1 pound ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 medium tomato, finely chopped and drained of juice
1 clove garlic, finely grated or pounded
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 egg
Neutral oil for cooking

TO SERVE:
Burger buns
Iceberg lettuce
Tamarind ketchup (see recipe)
Herbed yogurt (see recipe)
Sliced Persian cucumbers, red onions and tomatoes

Place coriander seeds in a small saucepan, and set over medium heat. Swirling pan, lightly toast seeds for 2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat, and finely pound in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt (alternatively, use a spice grinder or small food processor). Add pomegranate seeds, and coarsely pound (it’s fine if the inner seed does not break down). Scrape paste into a large mixing bowl.

Add beef, onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, 1/2 jalapeño, pepper flakes, garam masala, cumin, 1/4 cup cilantro, egg and 2 teaspoons salt. Use hands to knead mixture until combined.

Fry a quarter-size piece of the mixture, and taste. Adjust seasoning with salt and spices.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide meat mixture onto parchment into 6 balls, and flatten into thin, 4-inch-round patties.

Set a large cast-iron pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When it shimmers, lay three patties into the pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side until browned, then set aside on a plate. Drain grease from pan, and wipe with a paper towel, then cook remaining patties. (Alternatively, grill burgers over high heat for 2 minutes per side until browned.)

Serve immediately on toasted buns with tamarind ketchup, herbed yogurt and other garnishes.