Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

With this ethnic update, chicken burgers will never seem ho-hum again! Spice blends such as Indian garam masala provide big flavor with minimal effort.

Ingredients

    Chicken Patties and Pitas
  • 4 slices day-old French bread (1 cup/250 mL fresh bread crumbs)
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, divided
  • 1 lb (450 g) ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh gingerroot
  • 2   garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 2   pita pocket bread rounds, split in half crosswise
    Sauce and Vegetables
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain low-fat yogurt
  •  Chopped cilantro reserved from chicken patties
  • 1   garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 4 oz (125 g) seedless cucumber
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 small red onion

Directions

  1. Chop bread using Food Chopper. Chop cilantro using Santoku Knife; reserve 2 tbsp (30 mL) for sauce. Combine bread crumbs, remaining cilantro, chicken, ginger, pressed garlic, garam masala and salt in Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl; mix well. Form chicken mixture into four oblong patties about 1/2 in. (1 cm) thick.

  2. Heat Grill Pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Toast pitas on pan 1-2 minutes, turning once. Set aside and keep warm. Lightly spray pan with vegetable oil using Kitchen Spritzer; cook patties 4-5 minutes or until browned. Turn patties over; cook 4-5 minutes or until Digital Pocket Thermometer registers 165°F (74°C) and centers are no longer pink.

  3. Meanwhile, for sauce, combine yogurt, reserved cilantro, pressed garlic and salt in Small Batter Bowl; mix well. Cut cucumber lengthwise into long ribbons using Serrated Peeler. Cut carrot into julienne strips using Julienne Peeler. Slice onion lengthwise into thin wedges. Fill each pita half with one patty; serve with sauce and vegetables.

Yield:

  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 470, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 100 mg, Carbohydrate 60 g, Protein 32 g, Sodium 1120 mg, Fiber 3 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

3 starch, 3 vegetable, 3 low-fat meat (3 carb)

Cook's Tips:

Form burgers into oval-shaped patties to fit inside the pita bread.

Garam masala, which can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets, can include as many as 12 spices. The word garam means "warm" in the Indian language, implying a warm blend of flavors.

The yogurt sauce that is served with these pitas is called raita (RI-tah). Raita is an Indian yogurt-based sauce or salad designed to cool the palate when accompanying spicy dishes.

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