Should I eat it? How will it taste? Will it be okay to eat it in public? Similar to hesitations when trying anything new, I was a bit reluctant when I ate lamb first couple of times. It was a red wine stewed lamb T- bone at one of the elaborate buffets here and the husband was all over it. I could not help but stare at his enthusiasm. If I remember correctly, it was only lamb that he ate all night. Eventually I fell prey to his company and gave in. No points for guessing that I did not quite like it at first, you know how clingy we can get to childhood tastes- firstly the lingering taste of mutton I grew up with & secondly I am not quite up for wine sauces – not yet.
However, once I did (thinking I will empty my spice box while cooking to layer ‘that’ taste),there was no going back. Lamb paired so beautifully with those cardamons & turmeric in my kitchen and as I cooked it more, adding indian flair to recipes, we slowly embraced it as a regular in our meals. Even though mutton mince ispopular back home, after eating it more and more, we have as much love for lamb dishes in our household now as poultry & seafood. Due to its easy availability, I have substituted all my keema recipes with lamb mince & there is hardly anything not to like. Equally good, equally satisfying & equally delicious is all I can say.
This lamb burger is for those days when we are looking for a change & feeling lazy to cook but still want to eat at home. It is hearty. It is big, spicy and juicy. It is something which is a quick every now & then dinner for us.
I like to stuff my buns with lots of tomatoes, and with that mint laced, garlicky yogurt or whatever salad leaves at hand, however the husband keeps all that at bay. His meaty version is indulgent in itself with just the mince patty & lots & lots of onion slices and kettle chips on the side (which by the way are a must out here).
Ingredients (Makes 5-6 burgers)
- 1 lb lamb mince (or use mutton/beef mince)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1″ ginger shoot, minced
- 3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2-3 Thai green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green cardamom
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
For the Yogurt Mayo
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 fat garlic clove
- 2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
- 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice (or to taste)
- Salt & pepper to taste
For assembling the burgers
- Lettuce leaves
- Sliced Onions, Tomatoes
- Pepper Jack, Colby or any easy melting cheese
To serve alongside
Fries, Chips, Onion rings, beer, hot sauce,pickles etc
In a small bowl, mix up the mayo & yogurt. Mince the garlic clove using your microplane and add the mint leaves to the yogurt. Add lemon juice, salt & pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Using your coffee grinder coarsely grind black pepper, fennel, cloves, cumin and cardamom.Set aside in the grinder itself. In a bowl, add the lamb mince. Add the garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro & green chillies. Add the ground spices over it along with nutmeg,cinnamon & olive oil.Using a fork (or your hands), lightly mix up the mince with all the herbs and spices. If you have time, you can cover the bowl with a cling film & let it sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours or else you can use it right away.
Heat up a cast iron pan. Divide the lamb mince into six equal portions.(We do not like very thick patties, so I could make 6 out of these, however if making thicker patties, divide into desired portions). Brush a tsp of oil on the pan and cook the patties on moderately high heat until well-browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook on the other side, about 3-4 minutes more. When cooked, add the cheese on top and cover with a lid, the cheese should melt in under a minute. Note – We like our burgers cooked through and the times are noted for that. If you like your burgers pink in bewteen, please reduce the cooking time.These burgers grill beautifully, you can use your outdoor grill to good use for cooking these.
While the patties are cooking, you will see the mince releasing a lot of fat and juice, soak it up by warming up the bun halves on the same pan.
Assemble the burgers by slathering the yogurt mayo on both sides of the buns,add in the onion & tomato slices, lettuce and place the cooked patties.
Serve immediately along side chips.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!