Kofta Burgers a la Tom

Summary: My husband and young sons love the kofta burgers from a local Lebanese restaurant. So, without the recipe, we started working to recreate these burgers at home. Finally we have a version that is a family (and friend) favorite. Allspice is critical so don't go without. And toasting the coriander and cumin seeds for both the sliders and aioli makes a big difference. 
I think a cumin-coriander aioli is a nice riff on the hummus and yogurt that often accompany these kofta. My aioli recipe has as its foundation, Amanda's Preserved Lemon Aioli. I used slightly less olive oil, slightly more lemon juice and instead of preserved lemon, I substituted toasted cumin and toasted coriander, both coarsely ground.
*This recipe (with the aioli) was chosen as a Community Pick on Food52

Yield: makes 6-8 patties


  • 2 pounds 50/50 chuck/sirloin, freshly ground (preferably grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free)
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) yellow onion: puree ¾ of the onion almost to a liquid form in the food processor, finely chop the rest for texture
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground allspice (this component is key so don’t omit)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ½ tsp ground cumin (best if you toast whole seeds and then grind yourself)
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander (same note as above)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, or ½ tsp dried
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch of cinnamon and paprika, if you like


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Shape into slider patties (or larger burgers) and grill (or freeze). When you put the sliders on the grill, also put the asparagus on. Grill both to your liking; just a few minutes works well.

These are great served on whole wheat buns, pita, or lavash with some/all of the following: hummus, maybe some red onion, Greek-style yogurt, cucumber, Em’s toasted cumin and coriander aioli.