Sunday, March 17, 2013

Punjabi Lamb Kebabs

 If there is one thing I have come to appreciate about Indian cuisine is the amazing spices and spice combinations that are used and the aromas that now radiate from my spice drawer.

We are going Kebab Krazy at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  I've been scarce at IHCC lately but when I saw what this week's theme was I new I could find a kebab recipe I would like.

I love lamb.  Lovey doesn't like lamb.  When I read this Madhur Jaffrey recipe I thought it would make for great lunches at work this coming week.  Since I knew Lovey wouldn't be eating any of these I didn't hold back on the spices called for; primarily the cayenne that I usually have to leave out of recipes because Lovey is not a fan of heat either.

The recipe can be started the night before; in fact I would think it best so the lamb has some real personal time with the marinade; which is what we start with.  First order of business is allowing the yogurt to drain in a cloth-lined strainer.

While the yogurt is draining make a paste of the garlic cloves.  I mince the cloves very fine and then begin scraping the garlic back and forth with the edge of the knife blade at a slight angle.

These photos aren't very good and it's hard to take photos performing a technique that I use both hands.  Anyway, keep scraping back and forth until your garlic looks somewhat like a paste.

Here are all of the ingredients that are whisked together for the marinade.  The drained yogurt, grated fresh ginger, cayenne, garam masala, garlic paste and salt.

Since I was making this recipe for myself I halved it (but I did not half the marinade).  I purchased a little over one pound of boneless leg of lamb.

Once trimming up the lamb it was cut into one-inch cubes.  Although, let it be said there is no way to get every piece all the same size so please don't stress over the size of your pieces of meat.  Sorry for that little globulin of blood attached to one of the pieces of meat;  that's not very appealing is it?

 Whew!  Speak of  not a very appealing photo!  But don't let it fool you.  This marinade is so aromatic I can only imagine at this point how it will flavor the lamb.  Now, cover your bowl and stick in the refrigerator.  Mine marinated for about 24 hours.

About 30 minutes before you plan to broil the kebabs, soak your skewers.  The recipe did not mention this but anytime I use bamboo skewers for broiling or grilling I soak them first; for about 30 minutes.

Once you are ready to load up your skewers, lay them out on a towel.

Push meat cubes onto the skewers; I got about 7 cubes per skewer.  I ended up with 7 skewers with a little over one pound of meat.  The recipe stated that it served 4 to 6 people (using 2-1/2 pounds).  The recipe also mentioned using 4 skewers for the cubes of meat.  In my opinion, there is no way 2-1/2 pounds of meat would fit on 4 skewers.  I used 7 skewers for 1 pound of meat, so determine for yourself if 2-1/2 pounds of meat is really necessary.   

Before placing them under the broiler brush both sides of each kebab with melted butter.

Broiling should be at least 5 inches from the heat source.  My broiler is very hot (500°F) so I placed my broiler pan a little further away, in the middle of the oven.

Broil for about 7 minutes on each side.

You know, some say that the smell of cookies baking in the oven will serve as an aide when trying to sell your house; I think you should broil a batch of these kebabs.

Punjabi Lamb Kebabs
Adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey
Serves 4 to 6

8 ounces whole-milk yogurt (preferably Greek)
6 Tbsp. mustard oil or extra virgin olive oil
1-1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root
2 tsp. garam masala (or store bought)
1 pound boneless lamb from the leg
3 Tbsp. butter
Mise en place:
  • put yogurt in a cloth-lined strainer or colander and set in sink
  • mince garlic and crush to a paste
  • peel piece of ginger by scraping with a spoon and grate
  • measure out the oil, salt, cayenne and garam masala and place in large bowl
  • add yogurt, garlic and ginger to the bowl
  • cut lamb into 1 inch pieces
Whisk all of the marinade ingredients in the bowl.  Add the lamb pieces.  Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight or 24 hours.
Thirty minutes prior to broiling, soak skewers in water.  Remove skewers from water and lace meat cubes on each skewer.  Place each skewer on a broiler pan.  Melt the butter and brush both side of each skewer with the melted butter.
Preheat your oven to the broiler setting.  Place the tray about 5 inches from the source of heat.  Broil 5-7 minutes on the first side and another 5-7 minutes on the opposite or until the kebabs are done to your taste.

I'm sharing this recipe at IHCC.






  1. The smell of these would surely make me want to buy, or at least drool heavily! ;-) Lamb is the meat I miss the most since I stopped eating it and these kebabs look wonderful. Great pick!

  2. Oh wow! I'm so happy you shared this recipe with us because it looks absolutely heavenly! Love all the step-by-step photos. You are way better than I am to share them all.

    Thanks for joining us. Hope to have you back during the next six months when we cook with Yotam Ottolenghi:)

  3. Your lamb kebabs looks so delicious! I love lamb, but usually I'll have it at restaurants, hardly ever cook it at home. I don't mind making this, my family would certainly enjoy this as well! Thanks for sharing!

  4. It is hard to take pictures when you need both hands! I haven't had lamb in so long. These kebabs look so good!

  5. It looks fantastic :) I will try this for sure. Many thanks for sharing this step by step recipe :)