I’m so pregnant, which most of you know by now. I’m 25 weeks a.k.a 6 months and I’ve been told to eat LOTS of meat, I mean LOTS of meat. I’m low in Iron…wah wah. I am about to book a flight to Israel and I’ve had only shawarma on my mind, so I found a way to satisfy my craving without having to schlep for it. Pregnant lazy ass over here!
I am half Israeli and totally inspired by the flavors of the country. Shawarma is a street food that you can get 24/7 in Israel. In Israel it’s traditional turkey meat or lamb layered with lamb fat on a vertical spit, seasoned and slowly grilled while it turns, circling open flames. The meat is tender and oh so juicay. Shavings are cut off and stuffed into pita or folded into lafa (Iraqi flat pita) and accompanied by so many goodies i.e. tahini, pickles, fresh salads, amba (mango pickled condiment) etc.
Obviously, it’s really hard to re-create that dish in your own kitchen so I took some of those familiar flavors and reinterpreted it into a burger (so American of me…I know). The curry powder and cardamom really capture the flavor of the seasoned meat and amba together.
Fun fact- I made a burger similar to this for SOBEWFF last year and kicked ass with it. Can’t wait for you to try it.
Recipe makes- 2 burgers
8 ounces ground lamb
1 garlic cloves- finely grated
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
salt and pepper to taste
tahini sauce- recipe follows
fried eggplant- recipe follows
radish parsley salad- recipe follows
2 burger buns
In a bowl mix together the lamb, garlic, curry powder, cardamom and season well with salt and pepper. Form into patties and keep in the fridge until use. Make sure you remove the meat from the fridge at least 20 minutes before you grill or pan sear it. Make the tahini sauce, eggplant and salad while the burger rests.
To cook the burger, place a cast iron pan on high heat. Season the burgers well on both sides with salt and black pepper. Sear one side until it has a beautiful crust around 4 minutes and then flip over. Sear another 4 minutes and then let rest before assembling the burger.
Tahini yogurt sauce-
1/4 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 garlic clove grated
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice- depends on how bright you want it.
kosher salt to taste
Directions- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. If it’s too thick add some ice water to loosen it up.
1 small eggplant
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
kosher salt to finish
Slice the eggplant into 1/8 inch thick slices, lay them on a tray and season well with salt. Let sit with the salt for 10-15 minutes until little water droplets form on top. Pat down with a paper towel.
Heat up a skillet with a drizzle in the grapeseed oil. Fry on both sides until golden, around 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt.
Radish Parsley Salad-
2 radishes, sliced very fine (I would recommend using a mandolin)
2 cucumbers, sliced very fine
1/4 red onion, sliced very fine
1 handful of fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon freshly squeezed
pinch of kosher salt
Directions- Slice the radishes, cucumbers and red onion with a mandolin. Place in a bowl with the fresh parsley leaves and drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt,.