Dee – Cumin is a major contender for my favourite spice, so I was very happy that it was January 2015’s featured ingredient. It originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and has been in use since ancient times so was a perfect choice for a Tasting Jerusalem feature.
It can be used in cooking as toasted or untoasted seeds, or as a ground spice. It has a strong, savoury perfumed taste but is more versatile than its aroma and taste might suggest. It is most often used to flavour cheese, bread, salads and several spice blends.
Unsurprisingly it features in many of the recipes in the book and it was difficult choosing just one. In the end, we selected the Turkey and Courgette Burgers with Spring Onion and Cumin on page 200.
Turkey and Courgette Burgers with Spring Onion and Cumin
We made this dish before we started the blog and had enjoyed it, so it wasn’t a problem making it again.
The cumin appears as an ingredient in the burger patties. Only a small amount is used so it is not one of the predominant flavours. The ingredients for the burger patties are delicately balanced and produce quite a subtle taste, giving the sharp sauce that they are served with free reign.
It was the sauce that was really the star of this dish. It was fresh, sharp and citrusy, with lemon zest and juice and sumac used to great effect. It should have contained a mixture of yoghurt and soured cream, but we left the cream out in order to cut down on the calories. We also left the raw garlic out in order to avoid garlic breath the next day. Neither of these compromises made the sauce any less tasty and it accompanied the burgers perfectly.
We served the burgers and sauce with the ever-popular Basmati Rice and Orzo and simple fried broccoli garnished with dukkah.
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