Nom Nom Paleo

Recipe: Lamb Kofta Kebabs

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Aarti Sequira, the latest winner of The Next Food Network Star, makes me smile and her lamb kebabs are really tasty.  My meat CSA includes 5 lbs of ground meat each month so I’m always making these kebabs for my family.  Sometimes, I use grassfed beef, lamb, or a combo of the two.  

  • 2 medium shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 quarter-sized slices ginger
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 4 sprigs mint
  • Zest of one lemon, and separately, its juice
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1lb ground lamb, grass fed beef, or combo of the two
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses + 2 tbsp extra for glaze

1) Bring lamb to room temperature. If you’re going to cook your kebabs on the grill, soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes, so they don’t burn.

2) Grab your mini food processor and throw in shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, cilantro, mint and salt. Grind until very finely chopped.

3) Throw lamb into big bowl. Add the shallot mixture, pomegranate molasses, baking soda, garam masala and pepper to the meat. Using your hands, knead 2 to 5 minutes until meat lightens in colour, taking on the appearance of knitted fabric. It will also be very sticky. 

4) Divide the meat in half, then half again, and then half again, until you have 8 mounds.

5) Have a platter ready for your completed kebabs. Drizzle a little oil on the platter so the kebabs don’t stick.

6) Have your bamboo skewers standing by. Take one ball of meat, and roll it into a short stump. Thread the skewer through it, then begin shaping the kebab with quick strokes, pulling the meat down. It should be a little over 1/4″ thick. Roll the kebab between your hands to seal the meat. Repeat.

7) Heat griddle over medium heat, drizzling oil over it, so that when it starts to smoke, you’ll know it’s ready. Meanwhile, mix the juice of half the lemon with extra 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses in a small bowl.

8) When it’s hot, place the skewers on the grill. Cook about 2 minutes, then turn a quarter of the way. Brush with lemon-molasses glaze, and cook another 2 minutes. Continue in this way until you’ve cooked the meat 8-10 minutes.

9) Alternatively, you can broil these suckers in the oven — just place the kebabs on a foil lined baking tray about 6 inches from the heating element and turn every 3-5 minutes until done.

Makes 4 servings.

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