Lamburghinis with Barberry and Pistachio Relish
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Barberries are beautiful red jewels bursting with tartness. They are intrinsic to the Iranian cooking repertoire, where they are called zereshk, and they can be found at most Middle Eastern grocers. Verjuice is derived from unfermented grapes. Popular across the Middle East when lemons are scarce, it has a sharp flavor and is also gaining popularity. It is very versatile and wonderful to use as a vinegar and lemon substitute. Note that the relish is best when made a day in advance, and the burgers can be prepared at the same time and chilled overnight.
Serves: 6
  • 30g/1oz barberries or cranberries
  • 45 ml/1½ fl oz/3 tbsp verjuice or cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar (optional)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 10g/1/4oz/1 tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 400g/14oz lamb minced
  • 1 medium green chilli, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 6 iceberg or other round lettuce leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. The day before the dish is to be eaten, soak the barberries in twice their volume of water for about 10 minutes, then drain and remove the stems.
  2. Put the barberries, verjuice, sugar and cinnamon in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture is just syrupy but not completely set. Remove from the heat, stir in the pistachios and leave to cool. Transfer to a lidded container and set aside overnight.
  3. Put the lamb, chilli, garlic, cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon, pomegranate molasses and coriander leaves in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Pinch off a very small portion of the mixture and shape it into a burger patties.
  4. Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the burger for about 2–3 minutes on each side. Once cooked, leave to cool for 2 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning for the remainder of the mixture accordingly. Cover and set aside in the fridge overnight, unless making on the day.
  5. The next day, bring the mixture back to room temperature about 1 hour before cooking, then shape it into 6 burgers. Cook the burgers under a grill or on a barbecue for 2–4 minutes on each side, depending on your preference. Alternatively, cook them in a griddle pan or sauté pan over a medium-high heat on the hob for 2 minutes on each side. Serve each burger on one of the lettuce leaves topped with some of the barberry-pistachio relish.
Recipe by Bethany Kehdy at