Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
600g boneless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5 cm fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp ras el hanout spice blend
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp soft light brown sugar
16 small leaves of little gem lettuce
¼ cucumber, quartered lengthways, deseeded and diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 handful coriander leaves
2 tablespoons harissa paste
For the patties: Mince the chicken in a food processor and stir in the garlic, ginger and ras el hanout. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight if possible. You don’t have to do this, but it does make a difference.
Form the chicken mixture into 16 golf ball-sized rounds.Wet your hands a little as you do this so that the chicken doesn’t stick to your hands. Flatten the top of each one to make a patty.
Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the patties in two or three batches for three minutes on each side. Just before they are cooked, sprinkle each side with a little sugar and fry briefly until slightly caramelised. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the remaining patties, adding more oil when necessary.
To serve: Put a chicken patty on top of each lettuce leaf, scatter a little cucumber, onion and coriander over and top with a spoonful of the hummus or whatever dip you choose to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Anjalina Chugani was born in London but moved to Bangalore in India when she was 15; since 2000, she has been living in Barcelona where she works as an English teacher. A self-taught cook, she held Social Suppers in the meeatings23 space, and has a blog for recipes and food photography,