Friday, 18 July 2014

Indian Style Lamb Burgers With Herbed Yoghurt

Increasingly I have come to believe that for most people, food is about the familiar. Once in a while, we lean on our adventurous side and try out a new cuisine and flavours or get dazzled by the showmanship of molecular gastronomy. But, we come back to flavours that we are familiar with. It is comforting and unpretentious when one is faced with flavours one is familiar with.
Like the flavours in these lamb burgers!
I came across these burgers in Anjum Anand's 'Indian Food Made Easy'. She takes a regular lamb burger and spices it up with Indian flavours. So, you have ginger, garlic, coriander, green chillies, cumin powder and garam masala. And instead of a mayonnaise that would seem off key with the Indian flavours, we have a herbed yoghurt.

And the final flavour profile won't just appeal to the Indian palate but to anyone who enjoys the effortless ease with which spices can make food sing. This is not about spices that are overpowering and drench your senses with heat. This is about spices that subtly enhance the complexity of flavours while keeping it simple at the same time.
Yoghurt is a soothing complement to Indian spices. And the herbed yoghurt is perfect with these lamb burgers. The mint is a refreshing addition that helps cool the palate and counter any lingering heat from the chillies.

This is a beautiful rendition of a burger with Indian spices that comes highly recommended. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Indian Style Lamb Burgers With Herbed Yoghurt

Recipe source: Anjum Anand's 'Indian Food Made Easy'

Makes 4 burgers 

For the burgers
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 10 gms ginger, peeled
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 15 gms fresh coriander, stalks and leaves
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 300 gms lamb mince
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices white bread, crumbed (I simply take two slices of bread and whiz it in the mixer to get fresh crumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
** For a vegetarian version, you can replace the lamb mince with soya granules and the egg with 1-2 tablespoon of Greek style thick yoghurt.

For the herbed yoghurt
  • 200 mls Greek style thick yoghurt
  • 25 gms fresh coriander leaves
  • 15 gms mint leaves
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • Using a hand blender/chopper, finely chop the onion, ginger, garlic, coriander and green chillies by pulsing or chopping them by hand. Add to the mince with all the other ingredients. If the mixture still feels too wet and doesn't bind well, then add some more bread crumbs to bind it better or else they will fall apart during cooking.
  • Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape them into 4 burgers. Chill for at least 20 minutes or until you want to eat, taking them out of the fridge 15 minutes before you want to start cooking.
  • Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the herbed yoghurt and season to taste.
  • Heat the grill and cook the burgers on a well-oiled grill for ten minutes, turning them halfway. Alternately, you can also fry them but do so on a low flame to ensure that they are cooked through.
  • Serve in warmed hamburger buns on a bed of lettuce, tomato and onion rings with a good spoonful of the herbed yoghurt on the top.

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