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Charmoula Lamb Burgers

Theophan Posts: 2,654
edited April 2019 in Lamb

Been a while since I've cooked anything, but finally, on our Easter Sunday this past w/e (long story), I grilled some lamb burgers with a North African spice mixture, and I LOVE this recipe! I'd had only 1.5h sleep the night before, and, as you'll see, didn't bother to chop the herbs very finely, but they were delicious anyway!

The next photo is on a bun because I forgot to buy pita, but it was still delicious!

This one's a reheated burger a day later, but in a pita, and it was wonderful even reheated.

This is from the late, lamented Gourmet magazine, August 2007. I really love this recipe!

Charmoula Lamb Burgers



  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (not hot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro

Tapenade Mixture:

  • 4 Tb tapenade (black-olive paste)
  • 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 Ib ground lamb (not lean)

4 (6- to 7-inch) pita pockets

4 thick tomato slices


Mince garlic and mash to a paste with the salt using side of a large heavy knife. Stir together garlic paste, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and cilantro. Sprinkle evenly over lamb and mix with your hands until combined (do not overmix). Form lamb mixture into 4 (3/4-inch thick) patties (4 inches in diameter).

Cut off enough from one side of each pita to leave a 5-inch opening and open pockets. Stir together tapenade, oil, and lemon juice.

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal. Oil grill rack, then grill patties, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, 6 to 7 minutes total for medium-rare. Grill pitas, turning over once, until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes total. 

Spread patties with tapenade mixture and slide into pita pockets with tomato slices.