These lamb kofte burgers came about because when I made lamb koftes the normal way, on skewers, I found it a bit fiddly and messy. One day in frustration I took the lamb mixture off the skewers and reshaped it into burgers. This made the whole process of cooking them much easier and a whole lot less fiddly and is the way I always do it now.
The ingredients list for the lamb kofte burgers does look long but the method is not complicated. Essentially after the ingredients have been prepared it’s just a case of mixing everything together and shaping into burgers. But if you want to simplify things further, you could replace the chilli and spices with 2 teaspoons of mild chilli powder, which would give you a similar flavour. And if you are not keen on pistachio nuts, just leave them out.
You can fry these lamb koftes (try 5 minutes on each side in a medium hot frying pan), but I prefer to grill them as I can more or less ignore them while I get on with making the flatbreads. I set myself an oven timer so I don’t forget to turn them over!
These koftes are delicious served with pittas, homemade tzatziki and a simple Greek salad. If you are feeling adventurous you could have a go at making your own flatbreads. I have included the recipe for my homemade flatbreads below, but if time is tight, serve with shop bought flatbreads or pittas instead. To drink I would go for a Rioja or a Cotes du Rhone.
To manage your time well, start by making the tzatziki, then prepare the dough for the flatbreads. Then make your koftes and pop them under the grill. While the burgers are grilling you should have plenty of time to make your flatbreads. Finally when everything is done, throw together a quick Greek salad (or get someone else to make this) and you are done in under 45 minutes.
- ⅓ cucumber
- 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped finely (plus extra for garnish)
- Salt and pepper
- 400g plain flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra for frying)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 200ml water
- 400g lamb mince
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- ½ teaspoon chilli
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped finely
- 3 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
- 25g pistachio kernels chopped finely or bashed about in a pestle and mortar
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- Start by grating the cucumber on the coarse side of the grater and then squeeze the grated cucumber between your hands to get rid of as much of the water out as you can.
- Put the squeezed cucumber in a bowl and add the yogurt, garlic and chopped mint, plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir everything together and then cover the tzatziki with clingfilm and put it into the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- Next get your flatbreads started. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly. Add the oil and water and mix together until it forms a soft dough. Put the dough aside for later.
- Preheat your grill to medium.
- Place all the ingredients for the koftes in a bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 roughly equal pieces and shape into burger shapes.
- Oil the bars of your grill pan and grill the koftes for about 7 minutes on each side.
- Put on a nice serving plate on the table
- While the burgers are cooking in the grill, divide your flatbread dough into 12 roughly equal pieces and roll each one out to about the size of a standard frying pan (roughly 20cm), but don’t worry about being too exact.
- Put your frying pan on a high heat. Allow the pan to heat up for about a minute and then put your first flatbread into the dry pan. Give the first side about 45 seconds and then turn the flatbread over. Give it about 30 seconds on the second side and it should be done.
- Pop the flatbread on a plate and repeat the procedure with the rest of the flatbreads.
- To keep the flatbreads warm while you work, you could put them in an oven set to 100C, or just keep them covered with a teatowel.
- Make a quick Greek Salad and put it on the table together with the flatbreads, tzatziki, lamb kofte burgers and allow everyone to help themselves.