Turkey and Zucchini / Corgette Burgers with Green Onion and Cumin, Yogurt, Sour Cream & Sumac dressing

IMG_0018 If you are a person who loves Middle Eastern tastes and flavours in their food, you will love these. In fact if you think you DON’T like Middle Eastern flavours, you need to try these to have your mind changed. If you are a person who is trying to find an impressive yet ‘economical’ (never use the word cheap!) dinner, then these are for you. If you are a person who has to sometimes trick your offspring into eating their greens you might be interested in these tasty ‘burgers’ – another hit from Sami Tamimi’s ” Jersualem“. If you are a person who has never heard of “Sumac” but loves trying new flavours, you will not be disappointed having tried these. These beauties can be an integral part of dinner, a lovely appetizer / starter or if you are a ‘cocktail party’ type of person (and who among is doesn’t imagine that we really are, but just a little busy with hanging out laundry and re-decorating teenagers bedrooms at the moment, but will return to the ‘cocktails at 5’ days soon!), then these can be made smaller and served as canapés that will be sure to impress. And finally, back to the children / off spring – this is one recipe any younger people I have served will eat without once turning up their noses to ask for chicken nuggets or pasta. It is an all round success of a dish, a real find this last year and a regular visitor to our table, especially this last weekend as we celebrated Eid in fond memory of our time in Kuwait. I am aware that I am being at little “in your face” evangelical about these tasty morsels but I think you’ll be ‘converted’ too once you taste them. Note on Sumac: This is a spice ground from a tree / bush grown all across North Africa and the Middle East – it adds a bitter lemony flavour to dishes. It should be available in your local Asian store. IMG_0005INGREDIENTS

for the burgers
    • 1 lb ground turkey
    • 1 large or 2 medium zucchini / courgette grated (2 cups grated)
    • 3 green onions, sliced
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
    • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • oil for browning
for the Sumac Sauce
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

IMG_0006 PREPARATION Set oven to 180C.

  • Make the sumac sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. Refrigerate until needed.


  • Put all the burger ingredients, except the oil, in a large bowl.  Mix well, using your hands, making sure to get all the ingredients well incorporated.


  • Form the meat mixture into patties.  You can make your burgers as large or small as you like, but will need to adjust the cooking time. You can refrigerate them at this at this stage if you want to prepare ahead.
  • The mixture will be very wet. Don’t worry, they will firm up as they cook.
  • Coat the bottom of a pan lightly with oil and heat until it is nice and hot. You should hear a good sizzle when the patties hit the pan, If not, let the oil heat more. Working in batches, brown the patties on both sides, for about 2 minutes per side, and add more oil as needed.


  • Set the burgers on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, just until done inside.
  • Serve the burgers with the sauce, and some warm Pitta Breads.


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