Lamb Kebab with Yogurt Mint Chutney

By • June 26, 2012 10 Comments

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Author Notes: Lamb ranks extremely high on my list of favorite things—MonkeyMom thought I was going to sprout wool during the lamb contest awhile back I was cooking and eating so much of it. It's such a perfect match for mint and right now my mint plants are insane—I have to beat them back daily. This recipe uses a lot of mint, but in the kebab it is somewhat tamed in cooking, and the yogurt tempers the chutney. Still, you will for sure know you are eating mint. I use a mini food processor for recipes like this where you are grinding smaller batches, you should consider getting one—I use mine A LOT!!!aargersi

Food52 Review: I am a fan of Middle Eastern flavors and am always looking for new and creative ways to make kebab. Aargersi's delicious lamb kebab and chutney is reminiscent of a tagine with the savory lamb and sweet dates and chickpeas, but in a simple portable form. The yogurt chutney, bright with lime and a generous helping of fresh herbs, is the perfect accompaniment. I served this for dinner for guests along with warm lavash and a cucumber salad—it was a memorable meal that everyone loved.sdebrango

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Makes 6 to 8 kebabs

For the yogurt mint chutney:

  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, leave a few seeds for extra heat if you like
  • 1 1/2-inch knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  1. Process everything except the yogurt until it is a rough paste, you want a bit of leafy texture but no big chunks of garlic or ginger. Mix into the yogurt and taste for salt; adjust if needed. Chill the chutney until the kebabs are ready.

For the kebabs:

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus a bit more to cook with)
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (I make it a BIG pinch but that is up to you)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  1. Process the chickpeas, mint, olive oil, and garlic in that little processor until it is a thick paste. A bit of chickpea texture is good!
  2. Mix the chickpeas and dates in with the lamb, salt, and both peppers. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry up a quarter-sized bit of lamb—eat that so you can check your seasoning. Add salt or either pepper if you need to.
  3. Form the lamb into slightly flattened balls—I made mine each about the size of a lemon. Put them in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to set.
  4. Heat some oil in a large skillet (alternately, you could grill or broil them, but I find them easiest to manage stovetop). Fry the kebabs on medium-high heat until they are nicely browned on both sides—the center should be medium-rare to medium, which they will be since you chilled them a bit and have your heat on high-ish. Mine cooked about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with the chutney—and a cold dry rosé is a pretty good thing too!!

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