Saturday, September 29, 2012


This week, I made Spicy Grilled Lamb Burgers in pitas with tzatziki sauce.  I posted about a similar dish I made about 2 years ago.  I sort of just tossed that one together.  For this one, I did some research, and it was even better than the last one.

In case you don't know, tzatziki is a Greek yogurt cucumber sauce usually served with pita wedges or on gyros. There are many variations of tzatziki around the Meditteranean and south-western Asia. In India, cucumber raita is similar in taste but much thinner. It's great for cooling down spicy curries. I looked up recipes for tzatziki and read several. I didn't follow any one recipe, but took the common elements among most of the recipe I read. I did not include the fresh herbs some of the recipes called for (usually dill, mint, or parsley), but I wasn't concerned with making a truly authentic tzatziki because I was making curried lamb burgers, not Greek gyros. There were differences in the various recipes. It's funny, some recipes called for plain yogurt, some called for sour cream, and some called for both. The recipes that called for plain yogurt had you strain the yogurt first for several hours to get out the excess liquid. Doing that, you end up with a thicker yogurt instead of the thin regular yogurt.

Since I had a container (6 oz.) of Chobani non-fat plain Greek yogurt, I skipped that step since Greek yogurt has already been strained. I added 3 cloves of garlic, minced and about 2/3 of a peeled cucumber. I had a regular cucumber with seeds, so I cut it in half and scraped out the seeds before grating it using a regular box grater. You can also use an English or Japanese seedless cucumber. I squeezed out some of the liquid using a paper towel then mixed the shredded cucumber into the yogurt. I stirred in about 1/2 tsp olive oil (for texture) and the juice of half a lemon. I then added just a little salt to taste. Once it was well mixed, I put it in the fridge to let all the flavors meld.

After about an hour I pulled it out of the fridge to taste it. The flavors came together nicely, but it was pretty tangy. I stirred in about 1/2 of a teaspoon of sugar and then let it sit while I made the lamb.

For the lamb burgers, I found this recipe for Spicy Lamb Patties on I followed the recipe, though I didn't have green onion so substituted a little finely minced white onion. I flattened out the patties then grilled them using my non-stick grill pan rubbed with a little oil.

Normally, I would probably pop the pita in the microwave to heat up. However, since moving, I don't have a microwave, and I don't miss it all that much. Instead, I patted just a tiny bit of water onto the whole wheat pita then wrapped it in foil and put it in the oven to heat up. This turned out great. I ended up with a soft, warm pita.

I put the burger in the pita and slathered on some tzatziki and bit in. I couldn't believe how good it turned out. I only wish I'd had some lettuce to put in the pita with the burger. That would have been perfect.  All in all, a highly successful dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Okay. You can make that when you come to visit. I miss your good cooking, but I miss you more.