This is a dish a friend of mine first prepared for a party in Bombay. My friends ate them inside buns that weren’t very different from the hamburger buns you can find in supermarkets, and many people in India eat these patties like burgers: topped with cheese, sliced onions, and tomatoes.
Yield: Serves 4
1 pound ground lamb
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
1 medium red onion, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 inch fresh ginger, finely minced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon white vinegar
Ground black pepper
1 slice of stale white bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry
1 egg, beaten, with pinches of salt and pepper added for seasoning
Bread crumbs for coating
In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat, sauté the lamb in its own fat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, mix together the jalapeno, onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, mint (if using), Worcestershire, and vinegar, then add the mixture to the large bowl of lamb and combine. Season the lamb mixture to taste with salt and black pepper. Mash the soaked white bread in your hands and add it to the lamb mixture.
Form the ground spiced lamb into patties. The shape and size depends on your mood and the number of guests.
Roll each patty in the egg and then in a bowl filled with bread crumbs. Place on a platter and repeat until all the lamb has been coated.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a nonstick frying pan, fry the patties until crisp and nicely golden. You can use a little canola or butter if you want more color on them. Keep the patties warm in the oven until all of them are done, then serve right away, garnished with cilantro.