Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce and Parsley Salad

Serves 8
What you expose your kids to when they’re little does matter. Indelibly imprinted on my mind are memories of the street festivals in Detroit’s Greektown that my parents took us to, and the delicious kebabs in pita bread. This burger manifests those taste-flavor recollections. Ground lamb makes the most flavorful and unusual burger, especially when the mix is spiced up.


  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 individual pitas or 4 regular pitas


  1. Preheat the outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.
  2. In a bowl combine lamb, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and curry powder. Form into 8 3-inch by 2-inch oblong patties. Set aside to come to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki sauce and parsley salad.
  4. For the tzatziki sauce: In a medium bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, mint, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
  5. For the parsley salad: In a medium bowl combine tomato, parsley, red onion, and olive oil. Set aside.
  6. When the burgers have come to room temperature and the grill is hot, grill the burgers to desired doneness, about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Stuff burgers, tzatziki sauce, and parsley salad into pitas and serve immediately.
cook's note
Curry Powder: Commercial curry powders vary dramatically in flavor. Find the blend you like, buy it in small quantities, and store it, well sealed, in a cool, dry place; it should stay pungent for 9 to 12 months. Nevertheless, check it before using. Like any spice, curry powders lose freshness and flavor punch if left in the cupboard too long. Don’t add flavorless powder to your recipe and expect it to taste good.
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