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Playing Za'atar Burgers


For the yogurt sauce
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted
  • Salt, to taste
For the burgers
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 green or red finger chili pepper, finely chopped with seeds or 1 rounded teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup combined finely chopped dill, mint and flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons pimentón (smoked sweet paprika)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Hamburger rolls, lightly toasted
  • Gem Romaine lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, sliced red onion, for serving
  • Israeli pickles (in yellow can) or deli pickles


Serves: 4


Combine sauce ingredients in small bowl and set aside.
For the burgers, combine meat with salt, pepper, chili pepper, herbs, scallions, garlic, thyme, sumac, cumin, coriander, pimentón and sesame seeds. Mix well with your hands and form 4 patties that are thinner at the center and thicker at the edges for even cooking.

Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Cook patties 8 minutes, turning occasionally.
Serve burgers on buns topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and yogurt sauce, with pickles alongside.


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