Turkey Burgers with Urfa

1/3 Cup medium-grain couscous or bulgur wheat
1-1/4 lb ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tsp Urfa Chile, Crushed, plus more as desired for garnish
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 to 1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Madras Curry Powder (Mild or Hot Curry Powder will also work)
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus a little extra if needed
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
1 head of hearts of romaine, core removed and leaves separated
Fresh mint leaves
2 lemons, quartered.
12 hamburger buns, if desired


Combine couscous (or bulgur) with 1/3 Cup boiling water in a bowl, stir once, and wait for grains to absorb water and soften; 10 min for couscous, 15 – 20 min for bulgur. Transfer from bowl to a broad heatproof plate or platter, and spread grains out to cool more quickly.

Add ground turkey, garlic, 2 tsp Urfa, scallions, cilantro, cumin, curry powder, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and salt to the cooled grains. Mix to blend, then knead until smooth. Moisten hands and form mixture into 12 patties.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan on high heat until nearly smoking. Add patties to pan, as many as will fit, but with enough space between them so they can be turned with a spatula.

Cook burgers until crisp and lightly browned on each side, about 12 min total.

Garnish each patty with a little lemon juice, mint, more salt and urfa if desired, and pair with a leaf of romaine.

Serve the burger on a bun, or make it into a lettuce wrap and skip the bread, if desired.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings (12 patties).

Adapted from the New York Times.