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Lamb Burgers with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce

This spicy burger, served with a cooling yogurt sauce, is Suvir Saran's take on lamb vindaloo, the classic Indian dish. His new Manhattan restaurant is Devi.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 small red onion, 1/2 minced and 1/2 thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 6 medium scallions, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 6 hard rolls, split and lightly toasted


  1. In a food processor, combine 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice with half of the minced jalapeños, the cilantro leaves, ginger, sugar, minced onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Process until pureed. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Light a grill. In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb with the remaining minced jalapeños, the scallions, mint, cheese, lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the cayenne and mix gently with your hands. Pat the meat into 6 burgers.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the tomato, cucumber and sliced onion with the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the burgers over a hot fire until nicely charred on the outside and pink within, about 4 minutes per side. Fold the yogurt into the cilantro puree. Spread some of the yogurt sauce on the bottom half of each roll; top each with a burger, another dollop of yogurt sauce and some of the tomato-cucumber salad. Close the sandwiches and serve.
Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published August 2004

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