Citizens, the cuisines of the Middle East rank amongst the most tastefully prepared and delicious recipes you’ll ever try – and the recipes of the ancient country of Iraq are truly delectable, as amply demonstrated by these unique “burgers”.
As noted on nawalcooking.blogspot.com, where I first discovered this recipe:
For those of you accustomed to eating the regular all-meat hamburgers, this will be an exciting new take on this staple food. These are lusciously aromatic meat patties; lighter in texture than the all-meat ones, and are not as greasy despite the fact that they are fried. This is because the meat-veggie mix is moist and will not allow fat to penetrate, as you will see. You can tell this by the amount of fat left after frying. And if you hate frying for the mess and spatter it creates, rest assured ‘uroog is ‘user friendly’.
In Iraq, ‘uroog is very popular, served as sandwiches for breakfast, along with hot sweet tea, and for the evening meal, which is usually lighter than lunch, the main meal of the day, when the staples rice and stew and other elaborate stuffed dishes like dolma and kubba are eaten. The perfect ‘uroog meal would include along with it some scrumptious slices of fried eggplant and potatoes, with pickles, and lots of fresh herbs and salad vegetables, and of course the feathered onion with sumac.
Onion-Sumac Relish – Feathered Onion – بصل مريّش
Onion cut into thin slices and separated, as done here, is called busal mrayyash (feathered onion), in the Iraqi culinary lingo. This relish is so simple and yet so delicious, and goes very well with all kinds of grilled and fried meat. The sumac, with its fruity and pleasantly tart taste, transforms onion into a delicacy, which is believed to excite the appetite and aid digestion.
For those of you seeking a change from hamburgers or meatloaf, set your taste buds to maximum overdrive and enjoy this fantastic treat!
My recipe is based closely on the original I found, but I have adapted the number and amount of herbs from the original recipe and instead of curry powder, I specify what should have been used: Iraqi baharat spice blend, which is similar to a curry powder, but spiced in different proportions and includes dried rose petals. Use either, but I always prefer baharat, especially my own version of it! 🙂
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Iraqi Burgers – عروق
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 medium onions, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1/8 cup chopped mint
- 1/8 cup chopped basil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder or dry yeast
- 1 cup water, room temperature
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon curry powder – or a much better choice is the Hirshon Iraqi Baharat spice mix, made from:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground allspice
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika (it’s not traditional, but I like smoked Spanish paprika – use regular paprika to go old-school)
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons crumbled dried rose petals, optional but strongly recommended.
- Oil for frying (TFD prefers olive oil)
- For garnish: onion relish (recipe below), chopped parsley, pickles, salad vegetables
- For Onion-Sumac Relish – Feathered Onion – بصل مريّش:
- 1 medium onion
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Sumac spice
- In a big bowl, mix meat, onion, parsley, other herbs if used, salt, pepper, egg, baharat or curry powder, and coriander.
- Dissolve baking powder or yeast in water. Add water to the meat mix, and fold well. Add the flour, and knead lightly with one hand for a few minutes until well combined. The final mix will be a little soft but it should hold its shape when formed into patties. Add a small amount of flour if needed. This dough is easier to handle with wet hands.
- Heat ½ inch-deep oil in a medium-size frying pan. With wet hands, take a piece of the dough, size of a golf ball. Put it on the palm of one hand, and with the other, form it into an oblong patty, about 3 inches long and ⅓ inch thick. Carefully put the piece in the hot oil the moment you finish shaping it, and repeat until you fill the frying pan comfortably.
- Let patties fry until golden brown, turning only once to fry on both sides. Remember to wet your hands while handling this dough to prevent it from sticking to your fingers. Drain fried pieces on white paper towels put in a colander (this will prevent them from getting soggy). Repeat the process with the rest of dough. These patties cook very fast. Frying them will not take more than 15 minutes.
- For presentation: Line a platter with onion relish, arrange ‘uroog patties all over, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Or serve them already stuffed into bread, along with sliced tomatoes, onion relish, and chopped parsley.
- Onion-Sumac Relish – Feathered Onion – بصل مريّش
- Cut a medium onion in half lengthwise, then thinly slice it crosswise. Put it in a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon vinegar and a very generous sprinkle of sumac, then fluff the onion and set aside, covered, for about 10 minutes and use.
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