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Xian Spicy Beef Burgers


  • 350g (12 oz) beef mince
  • 150g (5 oz) pork mince
  • small pita breads
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced
  • ¼ cup finely sliced spring onion (scallions)
  • vegetable oil
  • sea salt

Spice mix:

  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp Sichaun peppercorns
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

Garlic Yoghurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)


Preparing the spices


Toast the cumin seeds and Sichuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan over high heat, being sure to keep them moving as they warm up. When they just starting to smoke, transfer to a mortar and use a pestle to grind to a fine powder (you can leave the cumin seeds a little coarse, just make sure the peppercorns are finely ground).


Mix 2 teaspoons of the spice mix with the remaining ingredients for the garlic yoghurt sauce. Set aside for later.


Take the remaining amount of spice mix and gently toss through the beef and pork mince. Do not overwork the mince mixture. Form the mixture into 6 loose, thin patties.


Place a large frying pan or grill plate over high heat. Toast the pita breads on both sides until golden and warmed through. Use a tea towel to hold them while warm and slice them open (but don’t cut all the way through). Keep them warm in a tea towel until ready to serve.


Lightly brush a large frying pan or a grill plate with oil. When the pan or grill plate is hot, season the patties generously with salt. Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.


Put the same frying pan or grill (without washing it) back on a high heat. Add a tablespoon or so of oil and then add the onions, capsicum and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened.


To serve, spoon generous dollops of the garlic yoghurt sauce into the pita breads. Top with the grilled patties and the onion mixture. Sprinkle over the spring onions and serve.

Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

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