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Lamb Burgers with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce

Here’s a spicy and easy casual dinner idea: grilled or pan-fried lamb burgers, with or without a bun. This recipe is adapted from American Masala, by Suvir Saran and Raquel Pelzel. My friend, Rooky, loaned me this book which is full of recipes like this one that combine Indian flavours with American-style favourites.

Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
3 T.lemon juice
2 jalapenos, cored, seeded and minced
2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
a 2″ piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 T. sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 t. Kosher salt
3/4 c. plain yogurt

In a food processor, combine lemon juice, jalapenos, cilantro, ginger, sugar, onion and salt and process until fine. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. (yogurt gets added just before serving)

Burgers
2 1/2 lbs. ground lamb
2 jalapenos, cored, seeded and minced
6 green onions
1/2 c. mint, chopped
1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
zest of 2 lemons
2 t. lemon juice
2 t. Kosher salt
1/2 t. ground pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
6 buns, slit and toasted on the grill (optional)

Combine ground lamb, jalapenos, green onions, mint, cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne and mix well. Pat the meat into 6 burgers and set aside.

Salad Topping
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 small cucumber,halved and thinly sliced (peeled if desired)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 T. plus 1 t. lemon juice
1 t. Kosher salt
ground black pepper to taste

Toss the tomato, cucumber and chopped onion in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt and ground pepper.

Grill or pan-fry burgers, 5-8 minutes per side. Fold the yogurt into the cilantro sauce. Spread some of this sauce on the bottom of bun, if using, top with burger, another dollop of sauce, and some of the tomato cucumber salad. Cover with the other bun half and serve. As pictured here, I omitted the bun and served the burger with the sauce, salad and some vegetables. Serves 6

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