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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
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
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with the chutney—and a cold dry rosé is a pretty good thing too!!
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Mint
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dates