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Mint Questions & Cumin Coriander Beef Patties

February 23, 2011
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The aroma of mint during the heat of summer is refreshing. The beauty of a mint sprig on a dessert plate or in a glass of iced tea is beyond compare. Yet after a week of above 40-degree days my containers of mint look dead. At least they are not covered in snow as they were in early February.

IMG_0276.jpg Peppermint

I have containers of peppermint, spearmint & chocolate mint (thanks, Kristen) & catnip but nothing has come back to life…


There are 2 reasons my mint is grown in containers: first – the only place on our lot where there is full sun is along our driveway, everywhere else is shaded; second – NEVER EVER EVER plant mint in the ground outside a container with a solid bottom unless you want your entire world to be taken over by the mint! Any plant with a square stem is invasive – mint in every variety is invasive in spades. My mint has grown over the sides of the container & taken root in the flowerbeds nearby. I had to brutally attack the stems with shears, shovel & elbow grease to stop the invasion.

Why do all recipes that call for mint call for “mint,” without specifying the type? Surely I am not the only person alive who grows more than one variety. Spearmint is a wonderful addition to iced tea come summertime. Dried peppermint leaves make fabulous tea when someone has a tummy-ache. The chocolate mint adds incredible flavor & aroma to brownies & homemade ice cream. So, when a recipe calls for mint, which mint does one choose?

Cumin Coriander Beef Patties

Instead of opting for the typical sweet recipe using mint, I’m choosing a recipe #1 son introduced to me, with my adaptations, of course. Hope you like it.


  • 1 pound lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup plain, unflavored Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 c minced fresh Spearmint Leaves


  1. Place meat in a large bowl; add shallots, ginger, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, yogurt & vinegar.
  2. Mix well with hands, turning, mashing, kneading to blend flavors & get a smooth texture. (Can be refrigerated, covered for several hours at this point. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.)
  3. Mix in mint.
  4. Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture & shape into round patties, 3/4 inch thick.
  5. Grill 5 minutes, turn & cook until desired doneness. DO NOT FLATTEN!

    Broil under pre-heated broiler, 5 – 7 inches from broiler, leaving oven door propped open until tops are browned, about 4 minutes; turn & cook 4 minutes more.

    Panfry in a heavy skillet over high heat; reduce heat to medium-high; add 2 Tb oil. Place patties in skillet & cook 3 minutes; reduce heat to medium; cook 4 minutes more.

Serve with flatbread, rice & dal.


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