For Indians used to chicken in a bun parading as burgers, much like the vegetable biryani pretends to be a biryani, the past year’s order-from-home trends saw the rise of a global favourite—the true hamburger.  

The original hamburger has nothing to do with ham; the range has expanded from the popular double cheeseburgers to gourmet buns with gruyere and artisanal wagyu burgers. Important to create a perfect hamburger is to get the proportion between the bread and the patty, with its accoutrements and textures right.

Get the bread 

Chefs Priyam Kumar and Parth Saxena, flipping mean burgers at Gobsmackers in Delhi, nail it. “A speciality burger hinges on the choice of bread that needs to be soft, yet crisp enough after toasting, to hold the juiciness of the patty without turning soggy,” explains Priyam.

“Use a rich yet light, classic flour soft bun that has its mild flavour, or a multigrain for a wholesome mouthfeel. If you want to pack in the umami, elevate the bun. Go for an enriched brioche to add a new dimension to the texture,” says Parth. “We use a herb and garlic bun to keep the taste, but avoid the eggs. Ideally, stick to the ratio 2:1—patty double to the weight of the bread.”

With cloud bread streaking across Instagrammable pictures, is it worthy of a speciality burger? “Cloud bread is like a marshmallow, they grin in unison. While it is gluten-free, it is not the ideal bread for a truly enjoyable burger. We would rather have a burger bowl without the bun altogether!”

Of course, the quick pick has come a long way since its basic rendition, inspired in Hamburg, Germany, and then slowly moved to America as immigrants from Europe flowed in towards the end of the 1800s.

Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard

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