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Author Notes: In the Chinese City of Kashgar in the Xinjiang province of Western China, this dish is standard lunch fare at the outdoor markets. Men set up shop with a fresh lamb or goat carcass, a charcoal fired grill cart and a large pot, and sell plates heaped with pulao, an Uzbek version of pilaf, and lamb kebabs which you eat with your hands. I will tell you, the pulao is made with the fatty parts of the lamb, and a lot of suet and oil, so I found it greasier and gamier tasting than we Yanks would like, so I've adapted the recipe a bit to lighten it up, and brighten up the flavor a bit. I didn't have a recipe for the kebabs, other than watching the men grill it, but the flavors and ingredients weren't hard to guess, and after a bit of research and experimentation, this is pretty damn close to the original. This is served with their traditional flatbread, a Nan, for which I posted a recipe here: http://www.food52.com/recipes/12353_uighur_nan/2 - Burnt Offerings
Uighur Lamb Kebobs
- 1.5 pounds leg of lamb, lamb loin, or shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons Canola oil
- 2 tablespoons Pomegranate molasses or 1/3 cup Pomegranatejuice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted, ground coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 6 ounces lamb suet (optional)
- 8 bamboo or metal skewers
- Place the onion, garlic, oil, molasses, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne in a small food processor and process into a paste.
- Add the paste to the lamb, mix well, and marinate for 2 hours, refrigerated.
- Soak the bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes in water to avoid them burning. Prepare a charcoal grill with medium coals.
- Thread the lamb onto the skewers alternating each piece with a small piece of suet. This is the traditional method. The suet melts and flavors the lamb. I usually skip this step, but it does make it juicy. Don't crowd the lamb pieces on the skewer.
- Grill the kebobs, turning every 2 minutes or so, for about 8 minutes total, until they are cooked and have nice grill marks.
- Serve with pulao, Nan and a cold beer.
- 1 pound boneless lamb leg, shoulder or loin chopped into tiny pieces
- 3 tablespoons Canola oil
- 1 large yellow onion finely diced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 4 cups water or chicken stock
- 3 dried chiles - whole
- 1 head of garlic, whole, unpeeled, cut in half
- 2 cups medium grain rice - Valencia is good for this.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 star anise
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- In a large pot, heat the Canola oil over medium heat, add the lamb, and brown on all sides, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are starting to soften, about 7 minutes.
- Add the water, chiles, and garlic,and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice and spices, bring back to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, add the sultanas, and cook for another 20 minutes until the rice has absorbed the water.
- Serve with Kebobs and Nan.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Street Food