Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade

June 17, 2013

This week, Louisa Shafia will serve as a Guest Editor at Food52. She'll be choosing a Wildcard winner, answering your questions on the Hotline, and sharing recipes from her new book, The New Persian Kitchen -- because your kitchen deserves a taste of the exotic every once in a while.

Lamb Kebabs

This sweet-and-sour kebab is from the Gilan Province in northern Iran, where people like their food extra tart. Its name in Farsi is "kebab-e torsh," or "pickled kebab," so named for the sour pomegranate marinade that gives it its flavor. The russet-colored marinade uses the same ingredients as the classic Persian stew known as Fesenjan, and is one of the tastiest discoveries I made while researching this book.

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Before grilling the kebabs, brush off the extra marinade, because it can burn and leave charred flakes on the meat. You can also make these kebabs using beef sirloin, fish, chicken, tempeh, or vegetables. Start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it so that the kebabs can marinate overnight.

Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade

Serves 6

2 pounds lamb tenderloin or boneless shank or neck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cups pomegranate molasses
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra chopped for garnish
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

(Vegetarian option: Replace the lamb with 2 pounds tempeh, cubed; 2 pounds vegetables, such as zucchini, red onions, and mushrooms, cubed; or a combination of tempeh and vegetables. Marinate overnight according to the recipe.)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Sara Remington

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • SpaCook
  • monkeymom
  • amysarah
  • Elizabeth DeMarco
    Elizabeth DeMarco
  • Louisa Shafia
    Louisa Shafia
My cookbook The New Persian Kitchen is a winner of Food52's Piglet award. I love cooking Iranian rice and hearing people crunch on the crispy tahdig from the bottom of the pot. I'm passionate about sharing the ingredients and techniques for making Persian food in my writing, cooking classes, and online store, Feast By Louisa where you can find my Persian Spice Set, Tahdig Kit, and other goodies.


SpaCook June 19, 2013
Made these with chicken thighs last night. I didn't do a wonderful job taking off the marinade, but I will next time. In addition to the author's note, I also felt it created a texture issue. Otherwise delicious, and a definite do over--was so easy to throw together and love having additional uses for pomegranate molasses.
monkeymom June 17, 2013
So glad to see this! I love kebabs! And now I have another use for pomegranate molasses.
amysarah June 17, 2013
Definitely doing this - looks fantastic. I figure cut up boneless leg of lamb would work well too? (Have used it for various kebabs before.)
Louisa S. June 17, 2013
Yes, boneless leg of lamb would work beautifully here!
Elizabeth D. June 17, 2013
I just picked up a copy of "The New Persian Kitchen" and am absolutely possessed by it. The photos themselves are luscious and each recipe looks better than the last. If it's half as good as Ms. Shafia's "Lucid Food" cookbook, I'll be one happy home cook!