I know Rachael Ray gets a lot of hate, and I'm not sure why. I've never seen her TV show, but I'm a huge fan of her newish magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray. I've read complaints from foodies that she uses too many prepared, processed foods but if you take even a cursory glance at her mag, you'd find 90% of her recipes have no cheese whiz in sight. Plus, she really emphasizes the ease of cooking--often encouraging readers to estimate when measuring and try different flavor combinations. Yeah, she's perky and uses some annoying shorthand (EVOO for extra-virgin olive oil), but c'mon, she's actually getting more people to use EVOO, and that ain't bad.
These Curry-Masala Lamb Burgers were inspired by a recipe in the July/August issue of her magazine. I get my ground lamb at NatureMart, a hippy-dippy natural food store in Los Feliz that sells meat from Harmony Farms. This specialty butcher in La Crescenta sells hormone-free beef and a range of exotic meats including kangaroo and wild boar sausage.
Curry-Masala Lamb Burgers with Yogurt Sauce
1 lb. ground lamb
Approx. 1 tbsp. curry powder
Approx. 1 tbsp. masala spice mix
salt and pepper
medium handful of cilantro, finely chopped
medium handful of mint, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely diced
squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 c. plain yogurt, preferably full-fat
In a large bowl, mix the lamb, curry powder, masala spice and salt and pepper well. Don't be afraid to use your hands! Form lamb into 4-5 patties, depending on how thick you like your burgers. Place patties on a plate, and set aside (you could put them in the fridge if you worry about these sorts of things, but it'll only be 5 minutes--I promise).
In a small bowl, mix the cilantro, mint, garlic and squeeze of lemon juice. Add the yogurt and stir until mixed. Set aside.
Coat lamb patties with a little olive oil and either cook in a cast iron skillet on the stove or on the grill. Either way, the patties will need about 3 minutes on either side.
Use whatever kind of buns you like--we used English muffins, which Rachael recommends pitas. Serve the patties with the sauce at the table and allow folks to add as much or as little yogurt sauce as they like. You know I'm gonna say it: yum-o.