Saag Lamb Burgers

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.

I’ve recently become obsessed with perfecting my favorite Indian curries at home and naturally decided to create a burger that featured cumin and fennel seed seasoned lamb patties and the flavors of saag paneer with layers of spiced spinach and a creamy yogurt sauce.The burgers are served on two freshly baked pieces of naan bread with fresh tomato slices – yum!


Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 minced garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon salt


1/3 cup minced red onion

2 minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2 pounds ground lamb

Spiced Spinach:

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 minced garlic cloves

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup heavy cream

20 ounces fresh spinach

1 teaspoon salt

Canola oil, for brushing on the grill rack

12 burger-sized pieces of naan, cut from larger pieces to fit the size of the patties

6 beefsteak tomato slices


To make the yogurt sauce, place yogurt, garlic, and salt in a small bowl and mix until smooth.

To make the patties, place the red onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, ground fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Gently but thoroughly mix in the ground lamb and shape the mixture into 6 patties. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the spiced spinach, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick fireproof skillet on the grill. Add red onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender; add ginger and garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Remove pan from heat and add coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom and stir until spices are fragrant. Place mixture in a food processor along with tomato paste, water, and cream, and pulse until well blended. Meanwhile, place remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and half the spinach in a large nonstick fireproof skillet on the grill. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Add remaining spinach to the pan, stir well, cover the pan with a lid, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until all spinach is wilted. Add pulsed onion mixture from the food processor to the pan and cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently. Stir in salt and remove from heat.

Brush the grill rack with canola oil. Place the burger patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done to preference. Place the naan pieces on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, spread equal amounts of the spiced spinach on half of the naan bread pieces and spread equal amounts of the yogurt sauce on the remaining pieces. Place the patties on the spinach-topped naan pieces and top with the tomato slices. Top with the yogurt-spread naan pieces and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.