Indian Smokehouse Burger

Have you guys been watching Americas Next Great Restaurant on NBC? I don’t particularly like most of the contestants, or anyones restaurant concept, but something about it keeps me watching. For one, I think it is pretty cool that the winning restaurant will open it’s doors the day after the finale airs. Basically the whole show is a commercial for the restaurant! The other reason I watch is that I am fascinated with Chipotle and since the founder/owner is one of the judges, there are a lot of cool stories about it’s creation and philosophies. The problem though, is that pretty much the whole time I watch I just think about how my restaurant idea would crush all competitors on the show.

I was particularly sour about it yesterday because I had just cooked a potential new menu item for my Indian – Southern US BBQ fusion joint. This burger is a take on the “smokehouse” style burger found at many restaurants that is topped with BBQ sauce and onion rings. I made an indian spiced bbq sauce, and pakoras, an Indian veggie fritter, and served the whole thing on freshly made naan bread. The only problem with my plans(Besides lack of money and experience?) is I can’t seem to name the place! After brainstorming with friends, “Indique” (Pronounced indy-Q) is the best we could come up with, but no one really likes it… Anyone have any good ideas?

Dramatic lighting for the aromatics. Arodramatic?

The spice blend for my indian BBQ sauce.

Brown the onions in butter, and add the ginger, garlic, and spices.

Really nice smells happening right now.

Tomato can is next. Cook it down so its nice and thick and the liquid evaporates. Some sweet and sour ingredients come next, then it is blended to make the sauce.

Pakora batter is made with chickpea flour, water, and a bit of spice.

Sliced onion, carrot, and green chiles.

Making pakora is kinda weird. You just have to clump some veggies together and drop them into the oil hoping it sticks!

I ate about 5 of these right out of the fryer, dipping them into the sweet, smokey, spicy BBQ sauce.

Spray both sides of each naan, and toss it on the grill!

I really think that grilling naan is the best way to make it taste like it does at Indian restaurants short of putting a tandoor in your kitchen!

This burger is really special.

Just like the onion ring bbq sauce burger from your favorite burger place, but with the perfect amount of Indian flair. And anyone who knows me knows that I am all about flair.

Look, it’s even portable! Any restaurant investors reading this blog?  What should we name the place?

Naan recipe

Pakora batter was 1 cup chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon garam masala, and salt. Mix in cold water until it is a medium/thin batter. Add thin sliced onion, carrots, and chiles and mix well in the batter. Form clumps of veggies and drop into 350 degree oil. Fry for a few minutes until brown.

BBQ sauce was:
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon fenugreek
1.5 teaspoons cumin
about 10 cloves
a small chunk of cinnamon bark
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chile flake
1/4 stick butter
1 small can diced tomato
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
2 inches ginger
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Grind spices. Cook diced onion in butter till browned. Add diced ginger, garlic, and spices, cook 3 minutes. Add tomato can and cook until thick and mostly evaporated. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Puree until smooth.


  1. This looks awesome, and I would come to whatever restaurant you opened… I’d probably be one of your helpers for free.
    Naan on Fire
    Red and Yellow
    i’m here all day… 🙂

  2. I like the Indian spices and naan but I hope you’re not planning on using cow in your burger. This would make a very flavorful veggie burger! I would definelty buy it at your restaurant because it looks like it would be very labor intensive to make at home.
    How about The Spicy Curry Grill or the flaming chile grill???

  3. I feel like Americans are afraid of the word curry, so I would probably keep it out of most of the marketing materials…
    Becky – this is fusion, not authentic Indian, so I can use cow all day! there will be some veggie options though…

  4. I hate that Americans are still afraid of curry….but I think we are coming around.
    Don’t settle for confusion – Try Curfusion. It’s a naan-conventional BBQ.
    “Have you cumingled today?”
    Haha. I should stick to accounting.

  5. Jumping on Nick’s idea – Convert an old karman ghia into a road-side roach coach grill and smoker. Call it the Cumin Gheea Car-B-Que.

  6. Love your blog – especially liking the look of this fusion burger. Funny, because I’m making burgers today too. (Cheese stuffed mini turkey burgers with chipotle olive oil spiked hummus and grilled onions, served on hot dog buns cut into thirds.)
    I think a good name for your restaurant would be “Spice of the South” – playing on the spice of Indian cuisine and the southern influence in the dishes.

  7. How about Indian Smokehouse? If its good enough for the burger, why not the restaurant? If not that, then I’d dive into a translation dictionary. You might find that a word you love in English is just as cool in Hindi.

  8. This is amazing.
    For a name, why not try something like ‘The Grilling Bazaar’?
    Keep up the great work.

  9. I am intrigued by your restaurant concept! And if that burger is going to show up on it, then I’m there!

  10. Dan this looks awesome. I would totally eat at your restaurant. That barbeque sauce has such a long list of ingredients, which means I will probably never try making it myself, but this also means that I have more reason to patronize your business.

  11. “The Spices Down South” perhaps?
    haha actually that sounds a bit suggestive, but maybe you could make it work. I have faith!

  12. I LOOOVE your website I love food network but their website slows my computer down soo much. I made your Buffalo turkey burgers and love them, hate cooking them! but love eating them! So name wise what about “The Searing Artsit” or “Barbecue Orgy or Debauchery”. ok the second might gross people out but truly the definition of an orgy is not gross 🙂 Well I tried. Love the website!! Thank you!

  13. I’m diggin’ all the restaurant name suggestions! You could have your restaurant remain nameless and I would still frequent it often! =)

  14. We actually have an Indique and Indique Heights here in the DC area. A little upscale Indian in some nice areas of town, so the name does work.

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