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. Slideshow:  10 Favorite Burger Recipes 

Lamb Burgers with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 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.

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