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Easy spicy lamb skewers & a tangy burghul salad

>> Monday, November 21, 2011

Easy spicy lamb skewers & a tangy burghul salad

It rained the whole Saturday, and then the sun came out brightly on Sunday. It felt so sudden, but we are used to (or rather, fed up with) this typical Melbourne weather. I was thinking of my trip to Preston market the previous day, how I got soaked in the rain. And driving in and out of the chaotic car park was not a pleasant experience.

 But then, I got a beautiful box of cherries, mangoes, asparagus and other seasonal produces. Stone fruits have also made their appearance. Just lovely. My trusted butcher also managed to "up sell" a leg of lamb to me. I initially thought of doing a lamb roast on Sunday, but the sunny weather changed my plan. Instead, we had BBQ lamb skewer. 

At our house, we only do BBQ over a char coal kettle. No gas BBQ for us, since we love the char flavours a lot. I make satay and Vietnamese meat skewers this way. No compromise!

 I have adapted a lovely marinate recipe from Gref Malouf for my meat. The spices go particularly well with lamb. I even consider that cumin is the perfect partner to lamb, even more so than rosemary. The end result is spicy, juicy spring lamb skewers.

We enjoyed our BBQ lamb pieces with a simple burghul salad, wrapped in fresh lettuce and radish slices. The salad itself is something I should make more often this summer. It is wonderfully tangy, spicy and refreshing with the use of pomegranate molasses, Turkish pepper paste, cumin and a lot of fresh herbs. It was a lovely dinner. Although I ended up smelling like charred meat!

Easy spicy lamb skewers & a tangy burghul salad

{Printable Recipe}

 BBQ lamb skewer 

 We are blessed with good quality lamb in Australia. Use high quality spring lamb leg for this recipe. Use different color bell peppers (capsicums) for a vivid presentation.

 Ingredients (serves 6 or more)
 1.8kilos lamb leg, bone removed (ask your butcher to do this for you)
Marinate ingredients: 
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoons Turkish pepper paste (mild or hot)
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tablespoon amchoor powder (Indian dried sour mango powder)*
½ tsp or more cayenne pepper
2.5 tblp salt
Generous amount of freshly cracked pepper
2-3 tbp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, smashed

To assemble the skewers:
2 brown onions, slice to "half moon" shape
2 bell peppers, deseeded and cut to large pieces

 Condiments: mayonnaise, chili sauce, slices of red radishes, lettuce leaves


Trim off the fat and sinew from the lamb leg, cut into cubes of 0.5cmx0.5cm.

Combine all the marinate ingredients with the oil, stir to combine and "massage" into the meat. Cover, and let marinate for 3-4 hours. Meanwhile, soak the skewers in cold water.

Around 40 minutes before the BBQ time, thread the meat, onion and capsicum pieces onto the skewers. Set aside. You would want to start the BBQ about 30 mins before starting time as well. Do not BBQ the meat when the coal is hot and red. This will burn the meat. It is best to wait a while, until the coal is greyish . This way, the meat will cook evenly with beautiful smoky flavours.

 BBQ the meat skewers until cooked to your liking. Serve with burghul salad, or other salads of your liking.

(*) If you don't have amchoor powder, substitute with a few spoons of yoghurt.Don't marinate the meat overnight though.

A tangy burghul salad 

My interpretation of Kisir, a traditional Turkish salad. I have made them a bit less sour, and add more herbs to my liking. I imagine couscous will be a good substitute.

 Ingredients (serves 4 or more)
2 cups of fine burghul
2.5 cups boiling water
 2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon Turkish pepper paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
A small bunch each of mint and parsley, finely chopped
Lemon juice – to taste

 Pour the boiling water over the burghul. Cover and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Use a fork, separate the grain. Add in the pepper paste, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses and mix well to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice. When you are happy with the taste, mix in chopped herbs. Serve with plenty of lettuce.


Rosa's Yummy Yums 10:32 PM  

A scrumptious meal! Both the skewers anf bulghur look amazing.



Phuoc'n Delicious 10:42 PM  

Can't wait for BBQ season! Nothing beats chillaxing with good friends around the barbie, drink in hand and yummy food to indulge on. These skewers look and sound so flavoursome.

Weather has been playing up in Sydney as well (weekend was warm and now it's raining!!!) Make it stop!

leaf (the indolent cook) 11:24 PM  

What a lovely and complete BBQ meal! Hopefully I'll have a few like that this summer.

Magda 11:32 PM  

Oh, Ahn, I love these recipes. It's my kind of food! Especially that colorful bulghur salad.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) 11:44 PM  

Gorgeous! I love lamb cooked on the grill.

ginger and scotch 6:57 AM  

the bbq food looks delicious but I am in love with that yellow background in your first photo - is it a table? cloth? Dying to know!

john@heneedsfood 7:03 AM  

Delicious! Especially with the cumin, something I always eat at Northern Chinese restaurants. Ever since giving away my bbq when doing the backyard reno I haven't replaced it with a new one. I've been without one for a year! Time to buy myself a pressie mehinks!

Anh 8:14 AM  

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments xoxo

@Sandy: I painted a board with yellow color. In a good summery mood :)

Shu Han 9:25 AM  

the lamb skewers look simply stunning! never tried that sour mango powder before, and I really want to now!

Nic@diningwithastud 9:30 AM  

Oh I love lamb skewers. BBQed lamb is the shiz!

Cynthia 10:34 AM  

Ummm, the lamb skewers are beckoning me :0

Silver Fern Farms 1:00 PM  

Wonderful and so thoughtful to do a 'printable' version. Thanks
Can you get #NewZealand lamb in Melbourne?

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat 4:33 PM  

Incidentally, I recently had the blessings of a homemade Turkish dinner. I look at Turkish cuisine with a new light of interest now, especially on the Aegean front. Good to see you put your own interpretation in the salad!

Sarah Wu 6:07 PM  

wow beautiful picture, it looks so yummy. I love how you added a yellow backdrop...makes the food pop even more.

Michelle 6:13 PM  

I haven't had the opportunity to enjoy lamb too often; I usually only get it on kabobs, and even that's rare. Your skewers look scrumptious! that looks scrumptious! I wish lamb were easier to get around here; it's so expensive.

Angie's Recipes 1:21 AM  

wow this looks incredible! You are such a great photographer.

Bree 1:35 AM  

This looks amazing--I know my husband would love it!

Wonder of my World 4:31 AM  

this is great i like this a lot.

http:// Good food and drinks of our world
http:// Wonder of my world
http:// Physical exercise blogspot

Little Corner of Mine 7:22 AM  

Looks delicious! I wanna try a few skewers. :)

Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet 8:12 AM  

Ohhh... This looks gorgeous and absolutely delectable :) Lovely pics!

JonathanN 9:09 AM  

You've made me very hungry! Can't wait to try these!

Janine 12:52 PM  

ooh now i know what to do with burghul! I saw them around and besides tabbouleh i had no idea what else to do with them! this sounds like something right down my alley! and smelling like charred meat is a great smell to be at the end of a bbq ;p

Shen @ JustOneCookbook 4:37 PM  

I love Vietnamese restaurant BBQ plates and will definitely try my next meat marinade with your recipe. Can't wait to have that great BBQ plate at home.

Jennifer (Delicieux) 6:06 PM  

Your skewers look fantastic Anh. I'm thinking this marinade would also work well for vegetarian skewers. Gorgeous photos :D

Kate at Serendipity 6:33 PM  

Oh, man! I love lamb. I love BBQ. I'm all over this recipe! Thanks for posting it.

Lovely photo--what did you use for that sunny background?

Only Fish Recipes 8:24 PM  

first time in your space.....awesome recipe...looks absolutely gorgeous n delectable...wud love to giv it a try sometimes!I too hav a space on different fish visit mine when time permits :-) happy to follow ur space

Tanvi@SinfullySpicy 9:12 AM  

Oh my! Lamb skewers look mouthwatering with fresh salad.I just need some naan to complete my meal :) Will have to try this marinade next time..

Yuri 8:21 PM  

Hi, Anh. The skewers looks amazing! I can smell it from the screen. Your beautiful photos make me so hungry:-)

Kiran @ 3:19 PM  

Are you kidding me? I just had dinner, and now I am drooling over these delicious spicy lamb skewers!!!! Give me some :D

Wonder of my World 6:24 AM  

this is great.

http:// Good food and drinks of our world
http:// Wonder of my world
http:// Physical exercise blogspot

Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) 2:18 PM  

We're in the middle of winter but I definitely think of summer bbq's looking at your beautiful lamb skewers!

Johanna GGG 4:10 PM  

the stone fruit is wonderful - makes up for the inconvenience of the rain - and I love the photo of your skewers on the bbq - beautiful

Nami | Just One Cookbook 10:52 AM  

Even thought I don't even lamb this skewers made me hungry. My husband will beg you to join this dinner. ;-)

Soma 12:00 PM  

I can never ever resist a good kebab and you are so right about the cumin.. well being an Indian I am partial, but it is true! I don't think I ever cooked lamb/mutton without cumin. Is that background a board you painted? Lovely sunshine color.

Samantha 8:28 PM  

Very delightful and scrumptious meal..

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