I love Turkish, Middle Eastern and Asian food, and I love lamb. This dish is spicy but not too hot, and it blends the flavors of several cuisines into one very flavorful, deceptively simple package. You can easily double or triple the amounts for a large group, and the meat mixture keeps well in the ‘fridge for a day or two.
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- ⅔ c. honey
- 3 T. tamarind concentrate (stir in jar before measuring)
- 1 t. ground cumin
- ½ t. ground cardamom
- 1¼ lb. ground lamb
- ¾ c. chopped onion
- ½ c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ c. chopped cilantro (I hate cilantro, so I used more parsley)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- ¾ t. salt
- ½ t. sweet paprika
- ½ t. freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ t. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 12 bamboo skewers
- About one hour before cooking, place bamboo skewers in a long baking pan with water to cover them. Weight them down with something so they stay submerged. Being wet will keep them from burning too soon on the grill.
- Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Mix kebab ingredients, using your hands, as though making a meatloaf mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Heat grill or broiler to medium heat.
- Using about ⅓ cup of meat mixture in your hand, place a skewer in the middle of it, forming the meat around the skewer like a fat, elongated sausage.
- When all skewers are assembled, brush each one with a little olive oil.
- Place on grill or broiler pan and begin cooking.
- After about 3 minutes, brush each kebab with the sauce mixture.
- Grill/broil another couple of minutes on first side; using tongs, turn kebabs over and cook for 2 minutes.
- Brush second side with sauce and continue cooking until you see a bit of charring. Your kitchen will probably be getting smoky at this point, so have a window open or your range hood running!
- Total cooking time should be no more than about 10 minutes for medium.