I’ve never made my love of burgers a secret. Despite the fact that a large part of my working life revolves around slightly fancy restaurants, I still have a thing for burger bars and the simple joy of chomping into a juicy, beautifully seasoned burger, chased with an ice-cold beer or soda.
I’ve tried a lot of burgers in my time. Turkey burgers, cheeseburgers, portobello burgers, tuna burgers, even tofu burgers, just to name a few. For some strange reason, I’d never eaten a lamb burger. Which, as I think back, is really kind of weird. Especially because I love lamb. It’s up there with pork as one of my two favourite meats. So, when S and I ran across a recipe for an Indian-accented lamb burger with an herbed yoghurt sauce in one of Anjum Anand’s cookbooks, I knew I had to try out the recipe.
These burgers are a breeze to make. We whipped up a batch for some friends and served them with a nice fruity New Zealand pinot. I loved how the spices and ingredients brought out the flavours in the lamb. The yoghurt was the perfect complement, adding coolness to the slight heat from the patty.
Not much more to say. These burgers rocked. But don’t take my word for it. Try them for yourself.
Spiced lamb burgers with herbed yoghurt
Adapted from a recipe in Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand
makes 14 small mini-burgers or 8 normal size burgers
1kg minced lamb
1 small onion, rough chopped
12g fresh ginger, peeled
20g fresh coriander, stalks and leaves
2-3 green chillies, seeds removed and chopped
1.5 tsp cumin powder
3 tsp garam masala
1.5 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs
For the yoghurt
300ml Greek-style thick yoghurt
30g fresh coriander leaves, chopped fine
15g fresh mint, chopped fine
1 green chilli, seeds removed and chopped fine
salt, to taste
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
14 small buns or 8 normal size hamburger buns
1 large onion, sauteed in olive oil over moderate heat until soft
Use a hand blender or processor, finely chop the onion, ginger, garlic, coriander and green chillies. Pulse to mince without pureeing. Add these minced ingredients to the lamb mince. Add the cumin powder, garam marsala, salt, egg, and panko. Mix this all together by hand.
Shape into burger patties. Depending on whether you purchased small buns or normal sized ones, you can either make small patties or large ones. Chill the patties for at least 20 minutes or up to a day, depending on when you want to eat them. If you hold them for more than a couple of hours, just take them out of the fridge 15-30 minutes before you intend to cook them (depending on size).
Meanwhile, mix together all the yoghurt ingredients and season to taste.
When you want to serve the burgers, toast the buns (well, only if you like toasted buns). Then fry or grill the patties on a well-oiled pan/grill. I personally like to sear the burgers over high heat first and then lower the heat a little, letting them cook all the way through.
On the bottom bun, place a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato, then a lamb patty, followed by sauteed onions and the herbed yoghurt. Pop the top bun on and get ready to eat!