From the other side
Chand Sahrawat looks at food through the eyes of Zoya, her hospobaby*
As a 17- year-old international student from India, I was very naive when it came to Kiwi food. Marmite and cheese sandwiches at the international students orientation at Auckland University perplexed my taste buds. I was also in for a surprise when I walked in to McDonalds (because it was familiar and cheap) and ordered a cheeseburger. I was a vegetarian back then and in India McDonalds do not serve beef for religious reasons. A cheeseburger is therefore just as the name suggests, cheese plus a bun, perhaps some mayo and lettuce.
Although I am a sucker for a good eye fillet now I still can’t eat a cheeseburger — processed beef just brings back awful memories.
Hospobaby has a soft spot for burgers because I often make either vege or chicken ones at home, and she loved the sound of Ponsonby Central’s Burger Burger when I recently suggested it for dinner. Sid ordered their beef burger; hospobaby opted for the chicken burger and I ordered the crumbed prawn and wasabi burger, a special for that week. Hospobaby licked the plate clean. I bravely tried Sid’s beef burger and may now be converted, but maybe not enough to try BetterBurger in Britomart. They have a vege burger option but BetterBurger’s focus is on beef burgers so Hospobaby is off to try it with her dad.
Hospobaby’s favourite chicken burger
I have adapted this recipe from Annabel Langbein’s Simple Pleasures cookbook by adding a few extra ingredients that remind me of India.
500g lean chicken mince
Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Grated zest of 1 lime or lemon
3 tsp Thai sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1 egg white
¼ cup coconut cream
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
Canola oil, for frying
4 of your favourite buns
Mix the first 8 ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Add breadcrumbs in so that the mix is easily shaped into patties. Make 4 burger patties out of the mixture. Heat oil and fry the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked through. Serve in lightly toasted buns with mango salsa (below) or your favourite condiments.
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
½ a red onion, finely chopped
Mix all the ingredients together, season and serve in your burgers.
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*”Hospo”, short for hospitality, is a term used regularly in the hospitality industry. Chand and Sid own the restaurants Sidart in Ponsonby and Cassia in Fort Lane, so Zoya has been part of the hospitality industry from day one, hence the term “hospobaby”.