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Lamb shish kebab sizzling platter recipe

Lamb shish kebab sizzling platter recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Lamb
  • BBQ lamb

Indian lamb mince kebabs cooked on the BBQ or grilled served on a sizzling platter of onions and peppers. Nice with pilau rice, minted yoghurt and poppadums or chips and salad.

Kent, England, UK

9 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 450g lamb mince
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tinned chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons chilli powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon grated root ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons natural red food colouring (optional)
  • For platter
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 green pepper, cut into chunks

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:45min

  1. In a chopper or food processor add the onions, garlic and chickpeas. Blitz until fine but not liquified.
  2. In a mixing bowl add the onion mixture, lamb mince and remaining kebab ingredients. Mix well to combine. Place in the fridge until ready to cook.
  3. When ready to cook shape and thread the lamb mixture tightly around a flat sided skewer or alternatively shape into long sausage shapes. Cook on a BBQ or grill until cooked through, 25-30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan or cast iron griddle for the BBQ with oil and fry the onions and peppers until softened a little and charred a little around the edges. Season to taste and add to a heated sizzling platter or warmed plate.

BBQ tips

Check out our BBQ how-to guides and videos for easy tips on how to BBQ to perfection!

Make ahead

The kebab mixture can be prepared a day ahead. I have made ahead the onions and peppers and re-heated in the microwave successfully.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

I was really surprised and loved it very much although I didnt put chick peas and used porridge oats instead.. I did them in the oven and they amazing!!!-02 Feb 2015

Embrace the Popularity of Lamb

By Steven Raichlen

Quick: What’s the world’s most popular grilled/barbecued meat?

If you named beef or pork, guess again. On any given evening, probably more fires around Planet Barbecue are lit to cook lamb (or mutton) than any other animal protein. You could start eating grilled lamb in Mauritania and Morocco and feast your way east through North Africa, southern Europe, the Greek Islands, Turkey, the Middle and Near East, and Central Asia, continuing on to the Indian subcontinent to Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Think of some of the world’s most iconic barbecue dishes: mechouie, scottadito, souvlaki, sate, lula kebab, seekh kebab, shish kebab. All start with lamb.

Despite its popularity elsewhere in the world, lamb consumption in the U.S. has dwindled to less than 1 pound per person per year—about half of what it was in the 1990s when I started writing The Barbecue! Bible series. (In contrast, Icelanders eat an impressive 55 pounds per year.) Clearly, many Americans don’t eat lamb much. Some have never even tried it.

If there were ever a time a time to add lamb to your grilling repertory, it’s the month of April. Lamb is associated with at least two of the world’s celebrated holidays: Easter and Passover. Jesus is likened to a lamb and, in many Christian households, lamb graces the Easter table. Lamb is the preferred Passover food of Sephardic Jews and a roasted lamb shank is part of the Seder platter. It doesn’t hurt that lambs are traditionally born in the springtime, and so are in ready supply come holiday time.

Well, the Raichlen household doesn’t wait for a holiday to enjoy this robust tasting meat, which turns any meal a special occasion. How do we love lamb? Let me count the ways.

  • As lamb chops grilled with garlic and served with mint chimichurri.
  • As lamb ribs or shanks, seasoned with barbecue rub and slow-smoked over hickory.
  • As rack of lamb slathered with mustard, crusted with breadcrumbs and indirect grilled.

But for my money, nothing beats a whole leg of lamb slow-roasted on a rotisserie. The slow rotation of the spit bastes the lamb internally and on the outside. Sizzling dark crisp crust. Moist rosy center. Now that’s what I call a perfect hunk of meat.

The Recipes

Here are the recipes I used to recreate this great spread, though for a little bit more than $4 per person:

Adana Kebabs by Serious Eats

Turkish Salad by

Pita by The Spruce

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce by

We had Cacik, a cucumber yogurt sauce, several times while in Istanbul though never with kebabs. Cacik is basically the same as Greek tzatziki, which I especially like with lamb. So many dishes from the Middle East and Mediterranean vary little more than in name as you go from one country to the next. I’ve been using this tzatziki recipe for some time, so I didn’t hunt down one that is specifically Cacik. In my kitchen, Turks and Greeks can peacefully coexist.

The kebab recipe calls for ground lamb and a couple of ingredients that you’ll only find at an international grocery or online: Sumac and Urfa chili flakes (also called isot biber). I generally don’t like buying one-off ingredients, so if you want to substitute things, you can sub crushed red peppers for the Urfa and lemon zest for the sumac. You can also use beef instead of lamb. Sumac is easier to find than Urfa, at least at my international grocery.

As far as grilling, these can easily be grilled on your standard grill using wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 15 minutes. At the Turkish kebab stands, there are no grill grates. They have large metal skewers that span the area over the coals making them easy to turn for even cooking. I got an idea from Alton Brown on an episode of Good Eats on how I could build a proper kebab grill with materials I already had on hand. Namely, the charcoal table that I use for cast iron cooking, and some bricks.

Bricks and a cast iron cooking table make for a great kebab grill

I invested in a dozen wide metal skewers, and I’m glad I did. The wide blade keeps food from spinning around unlike round skewers. If the weight is evenly distributed on the skewers, you can rotate to four different sides for even cooking. I’ve never used them on a regular grill, but I’m sure they would work just fine on one. And if I ever decide to take up fencing, I’m all set.

Roll portions into balls, flatten, and fold around skewers.

The Turkish salad is perfect for any meal. Fresh and healthy, it is a great salad alternative if you’re burnt out on lettuce or greens. Or you have more tomatoes from your summer garden than you know how to use. Green peppers do not like me, so I usually use red, orange, or yellow bell peppers instead. I try for yellow or orange so that they stand out from the tomatoes. I also peel and seed the cucumbers.

James putting pita onto the pizza stone.

For the pita, well, you can always just grab some from the store. I’ve personally never made it before. Fortunately, our friend James is pretty good at that whole baking dough thing. He has the Kettle Pizza attachment for his Weber grill and uses hardwood to get the temperature up. You can do them in your oven, but if it doesn’t go up to at least 500 degrees Fred (260 Clyde), you won’t get the puffy, pocket bread results. Per James, if you make them in your oven, crank it up as close as you can get to 500, and put a pizza stone on the lowest possible rack. If you don’t have a pizza stone, be sure to preheat whatever baking sheet you do use. The cooking surface has to be hot.

Pita cooking on the pizza stone.

  • juice of half lemon
  • 450g/1lb lamb mince
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 55g/2oz fresh coriander leaves (washed and chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 4 green chillies (de-seeded and chopped)
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns (crushed)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix two teaspoons of lemon juice and the lamb mince in a bowl.

Blend the oil, garlic, ginger, chillies, crushed peppercorns, cumin, coriander powder, lemon juice, turmeric powder and salt in a food processor to a paste.

Stir the paste and coriander into the mince. With wet hands skewer the meat into long sausage shapes. Rotate the meat around the skewer, pressing gently all round. Alternatively, shape the mixture into small patties.

Brush each kebab with a little oil and grill under a medium heat or barbecue for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.


  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper, or 1 to 3 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ pounds finely chopped ground lamb
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or hot paprika, preferably Turkish
  • 1½ teaspoons Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large or 4 small pieces of lavash
  • Onion Relish

You’ll also Need

Vegetable Kabobs

Yield: 6 servings

prep time: 25 minutes

cook time: 10 minutes

total time: 35 minutes

These marinated fresh veggie kabobs are packed with tons of flavor – perfect as a healthy side dish to any meal!


  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into thick rounds
  • 1 yellow zucchini, sliced into thick rounds

For the marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and basil season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Thread mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion and zucchini onto skewers. Place skewers onto a baking sheet. Brush olive oil mixture onto the skewers and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Place into oven and roast until tender, about 10-12 minutes.*
  5. Serve immediately.


*These can be grilled over medium high heat, about 5-6 minutes per side.

Turkish Meatballs, Kofte 101 and Grated Carrots, Red Cabbage Salad

Homemade Turkish meatballs a childhood favorite delicious with grated carrot & red cabbage salad aside.

These homemade Turkish meatballs are one of my childhood favorites my mother would always keep some in the freezer ready to cook instantly and the delicious aroma greets you as soon as you are home. For me there is nothing quite like homemade meatballs, our koftes.

Historic Sultanahmet Koftecisi they have been making delicious koftes for almost 100 years.

We Turks love our koftes, Turkish meatballs. Almost every region in Turkey has their own specialty of these meatballs. One of my favorite type is the Sultanahmet Koftesi prepared by the historic Sultanahmet Koftecisi served with fasulye piyazi, delicious beans salad with red onions and sumac aside they have been making these delicious Koftes in Sultanahmet, Istanbul for almost 100 years.

Izmir kofte Turkish meatballs with potato, peppers and tomatoes simply delicious.

How about the melt-in-the-mouth Izmir Kofte? Here the Turkish style meatballs are cooked with tomatoes, peppers and onions in a delicious tomato based sauce. A delicious, complete meal you can prepare ahead of time.

Back to our Turkish meatballs 101 here are some important tips on kofte making that my mother taught us it is simple, delicious and a winner with children, as well as adults. I follow the delicious Turkish blog, Kulaktan Dolma Tarifler by Semsa Denizsel and loved her tips on making proper kofte too. Now comes some important tips on homemade Turkish meatballs:

  • I like to have half & half mixture of ground beef and ground lamb in my meatballs you need at least about 25% of the meat content as ground lamb for that delicious, melt-in-the-mouth meatball taste.
  • Our koftes have quite a generous grated onion in it, as well as parsley, stale bread, 1 egg and salt & ground black pepper seasoning. My mother includes a generous amount of stale bread crumbs in the mixture and that makes koftes taste wonderful and moist.
  • Mix the ingredients (except the meat) first that softens the onions and the mixture blends with the meat better.
  • Make sure to rest the shaped meatballs in the fridge for about 30 minutes or more before cooking, that helps the meatballs and flavors to settle.
  • If you are a kofte, meatballs fan like we are, make a double batch and freeze half of the shaped but uncooked meatballs in the fridge. You can layer these meatballs in a container and put cling film between each layer, so that they don’t stick together. Just make sure to remove the cling film before cooking.
  • A great tip from Semsa cook one meatball on the pan or grill first to check the seasoning. If they need more salt or pepper, add some to the rest of the meatballs. Good seasoning is essential.

Kofte, homemade Turkish meatballs, a favorite for the children and adults.

Turkish cuisine is a feast to all senses healthy, family friendly, great for entertaining too. I have included over 90 authentic Turkish recipes at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table can be ordered at this link with 25 % off discount, it is delivered promptly, worldwide.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book, available to order at this link

Homemade Turkish Meatballs, Kofte A Childhood Favorite:

1 medium or 2 small onions, grated

120g/4oz (about 3 slices of stale bread of your choice), crusts removed

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Light olive oil for shallow frying

Kofte ingredients first mix all except the meat well.

Soak the stale bread slices in a small bowl of water then squeeze them dry. In a large bowl, combine all the kofte, meatball ingredients except the meat and knead well. That will help soften the onions and blend the ingredients homogeneously. Stir in the ground meat, season with salt (about 1 – 2 tsp.) and ground black pepper to your taste. Knead for a good 3-5 minutes with your hands, until the mixture becomes elastic and mixed well. Cover this mixture with a cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Place the meatballs in a tray ready cook side by side.

After 30 minutes or just before cooking them, have a bowl of water next to you and start shaping the meatballs. First wet your hands and take a small tangerine size of the meat mixture and roll into a ball. Slightly flatten each ball with the heel of your hand. Place the meatballs in a tray ready cook side by side and continue until all the meat mixture is shaped into meatballs.

Sizzling, delicious koftes, Turkish meatballs.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a wide, heavy (preferably non-stick) pan and place the meatballs, 4 -5 of them at a time. Cook for about 6 -8 minutes (3- 4 minutes each side), until cooked and browned on all sides. Alternatively, you can grill them until brown both sides. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Home made kofte, Turkish meatballs, ready to enjoy!

Serve the meatballs hot with this refreshing grated carrots and red cabbage salad by the side. Cacik dip of diced cucumber in yoghurt with dried mint would go also really well with these delicious meatballs.

Grated Carrots and Red Cabbage Salad – Havuc ve Kirmizi Lahana Salatasi

This crunchy, vibrant salad is popular served in lokantas as well as kebab houses in Turkey and accompanies grilled meat, fish and vegetables deliciously. It is simple to make and the refreshing lemon juice and the sharp balsamic vinegar dressing pair greatly with the carrots and the red cabbage.

Vibrant, refreshing grated carrot and red cabbage salad with sliced cucumbers.

1 small or ½ medium size cucumber, halved and sliced

30 ml/ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

45 ml. / 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove the tough outer leaves and the middle hard part of the red cabbage. Halve the cabbage and slice thinly. Place the sliced cabbage in a bowl and stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt and the pepper using your hands to knead well to soften them up. If you have time, cover and keep this marinated cabbage in the fridge for a few hours before serving, for all the flavors to blend in. This salad keeps in the fridge for a good couple of days and it will taste even better the next day!

Place the grated carrots in a bowl and drizzle 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice over. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Place the dressed carrots and the cabbage side by side on a serving dish. Add the sliced cucumbers and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the cabbage and cucumbers. Serve the salad with your meatballs or grilled fish or vegetables.

Havuc ve kirmizi lahana salatasi grated carrots and red cabbage pair well with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice dressing.

The Meatwave

A kabob is only as good as the meat you put into it, and I've found kabobs are pretty particular with the meats they like. So I have another addition of Meat Tips, and a continuation of the kabob craziness, to help make sure you're buying the right meat to ensure skewer success.

Choosing Meat for Kabobs

Meat cubed. To start, you're going to want a meat you can uniformly cube. I stay away from pre-cubbed kabob meats, because you don't always know exactly what they are and cutting your own cubes will make sure you're getting the best and freshest product. I usually cube my kabobs into 1" cubes, so I'm looking for a piece of meat cut at least 1" tall. Making sure you have uniform size cubes ensures that all pieces of meat on the skewer will be done at the same time.

Don't Lean. If you want the juiciest, most flavorful kebabs, you're looking for the darker and fattier cuts of meat. Lean meat is prone to drying out easily, which is a recipe for easy failure. While fattier cuts are preferred, too much fat can be chewy and unpleasant with high heat cooking, so I usually cut out excess fat and sinew when cubing the meat.

Take them for a bath. Kebabs are often all about the marinade, which creates endless possibilities for flavoring. Marinades also often have a double purpose acting as a brine with enough salt in them&mdashwhich further aides in ended up with the juiciest final products.

For beef I go with sirloin. Sirloin steaks are usually cut about an inch thick to begin with, have little fat, and have a beefy flavor a little more delicate than other cuts. This allows you to get the full flavor of the marinade with a nice underlying beefiness that isn't over powering.


You won't find a better friend than chicken thighs for kebabs. Sure breast meat cuts more nicely into cubes and is a bit better at picking up the flavor of a marinade, but it also goes from juicy to dry so fast there there's no room for error. Thighs, on the other hand, are way more forgiving, so if all your meat on the stick isn't cooking at the same time, you can rest assured the entire thing isn't a lost cause if you need to grill it a bit longer than expected. Since thighs aren't as thick as breasts, you may need to cut longer strips and fold them over the create better sized, and more secure, pieces for skewering.

Like with chicken, you want to look towards the darker and fattier cuts of pork for the best kebabs. I personally like pork butt, which takes a little extra time to cut around all the excess fat and gristle to get proper cubes for skewering, but the works is well worth it when you taste the extra flavor in the final product. Pork loin, while it is lean, does make for good kebabs too, but I recommend undercooking loin meat a bit to avoid it drying out.

Lamb ranges the spectrum from cheap and tough, to expensive and tender, so as an affordable middle ground, I go for the shank end of the leg. There will be some extra removal of sinew and fat from this cut, but the little work is well rewarded with kabobs that have a deep, rich flavor.

Published on Wed Jul 9, 2008 by Joshua Bousel

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mfs What about what's in between the meat, son? Veggie mountain! Posted Wed, Jul 9 2008 8:32PM

josh! You'll have to start a new blog for that. Veggiewave! Posted Wed, Jul 9 2008 11:02PM

kabob lover could you give me the marinade recipe for your sirloin kabob? it looks absolutely delicious and i would love to try it! Posted Tue, Jul 27 2010 10:29PM

Josh @kabob lover This is the recipe I used for the sirloin kabobs. They are pretty delicious, the secret is in the Sprite :) Posted Wed, Jul 28 2010 9:44AM

linda really find kabobs convenient, as baby boomer's age, eat less yet
meal with beef, chicken or pork with vegetables, rice or potato
. as well delish moist, filling not full. Would have appreciated M&M how purchase, product number. Posted Fri, Jun 15 2012 8:05AM

Dawn I don't understand the reason for marinade. Shouldn't we just try to buy natural meat with good flavor? Posted Mon, Jun 25 2012 3:48PM

Stephanie thanks so much! This article is pretty helpful. I usually stick to chicken. :) Love the disclaimer haha Posted Fri, Apr 12 2013 4:52PM

Lisa Thank you for your posting! I am making kebabs today and found your info very helpful. Posted Fri, Mar 28 2014 9:15PM

Chef Roberto Italian kebabs are a little different than American, we called it Spiedini each skewer as no more than .80 lbs like Arrosticini made of lamb check it out at and Buon Appetito, Arrivederci Posted Sat, Aug 16 2014 9:45PM

Ruby S. Pinkerton Shish kebab in the countryside - what could be better? Everyone would like to treat yourself and your loved ones succulent flavorful dish. But what a shame, and how the mood is spoiled if something inedible is obtained instead of the expected to the meal dishes. If a shish kebab is made from beef, failures and are not at all uncommon. To avoid disappointment, I can recommend good ways to shish kebab of beef Marinades for shish kebab are divided in two groups. The first one is suited for delicate fish, chicken and soft pork. The second group is suitable for thicker meat which may become rigid and viscous during preparation on skewer. These marinades contain so-called aggressive additives: &ndash citric acid, &ndash vinegar, &ndash red wine, etc. Here we are advised to cook the vegetables separately from meat. But vegetables should be cut quite large for a shish kebab, so they prepared both with meat and not burnt. Therefore, consider cutting the size and try not to cut the vegetables very finely. Posted Fri, May 20 2016 7:39AM

Taylor Bishop Thanks for these meat tips! I like that you mentioned that you should marinate kabob meats because it can bring out a lot of flavor. I'm interested to learn how long this should be done, especially if it shouldn't be done for too long. Posted Tue, Nov 28 2017 9:58AM

Bradford – Sheesh Mahal – First Curry of 2017

It has been brought to Hector’s notice that the Curry House Chaps of Bradford have been enquiring as to my whereabouts of late. Why is it before I retired I was in The Curry Capital more frequently? This had to be rectified, today.

Our Rendezvous with The Man from Bradford, aka – The Rickmeister – was at 13.00. That the chosen venue was the Sheesh Mahal (6 St. Thomas’ Rd, Bradford, BD1 2RW) was never contested. Sadly we were delayed by an hour due to a rather nasty RTA on the M1 at Meadowhall. Ricky was collected from his Castle, Marg gave up the front seat, Craig and Yvonne had to breath in. The Passat felt more sluggish suddenly trying to cope with the Hills of Bradford.

No Taj, no Omar, no Sadaqat, The Rickmeister informed me that the Young Chap on duty is another Son of Taj. I was not known.

Starters were the last thing I had in mind today, just bring me the Bradford Curry. However, when Craig announced he was having Seekh Kebabs (£2.70), there had to be Lamb Chops (£4.90). It has been a while, it appears – The Appetite – has returned.

Whilst we considered the Mains, the table was covered in Salads, Poppadoms and Dips. Marg asked for some Mango Chutney, no £1.50 surcharge here as was the case in – The Last Curry of 2016. This is Bradford.

When Omar or Sadaqat are on duty, I normally have a Lamb on-the-bone Hector Curry. Today I though I had better play safe and order from the Menu. I note the prices have been static since the rebuild. Lamb Balti (on Bone) (£9.50) was Hector’s choice, extra Methi was secured when the Son of Taj noted the order. Marg has been eating Mince of late due to an ongoing dental problem. Omar Kayham (£8.95) was better described as – Keema, Peas, Potatoes. Ricky also chose an exotic Curry – Mughal-e-azam (£8.95), or – Meat with Spinach and Lentils. Kabuli Balti (£8.95), what’s going on here? Craig’s Balti would have – Chicken and Chickpeas. Chana Murgh – in Glasgow. Yvonne chose the more straightforward Prawn Rogan Josh (£8.75).

Marg asked for – one Chapatti – to accompany. Ricky pointed out – You get three. Here one finds the joy of Dining in Bradford. Excepting the Pukka Houses with tablecloths, Roti, Chapatti, Naan, or Rice is included in the price. If one wishes more than one option then a modest charge is made, e.g. 30p for an extra Chapatti. Craig and Yvonne went for Rotis, Hector and Marg, Chapattis, Ricky a Naan. Sorted. Time to get back to the Salad et al before the arrival of the Starters. Meanwhile The Rickmeister challenged Hector to identify the obscure names on the Menu:

Magaz – Seeds (most likely to be Watermelon)

Shai Dhall – Mixed Lentils

Ricky and Hector have enjoyed Brains and Testicles at the Sheesh Mahal. I didn’t enjoy Liver, as I never do, though Ricky and Dr. Stan thought it was great. No Tripe?

From the moment Craig tasted his first slice of Seekh Kebab (no photo!) he was in raptures. Despite being – Spicy – he was thoroughly enjoying his selection. Ricky reckons the Seekh Kebabs served at Sheesh Mahal are the best, anywhere. I have a Recipe, acquired during my Curry Course one day I might even get around to posting it.

Five Lamb Chops for £4.90. The Chops were Substantial. Served on a Sizzling Iron Platter with a Bed of Onions, this was the Perfect way to kick off 2017. Suddenly I was down to Four Chops, Marg felt an entitlement. During this, the photo opperchancity for the Seekh Kebab escaped. The Spice was Magnificent, the Seasoning even more-so. One could be tempted to come here and just dine on Lamb Chops ad nauseam. Lamb Chops Tikka Balti (£9.50) will have to be tried, maybe next month.

The Mains were offered as Craig and Hector completed the Starters. Marg asked for another five minutes, the Lady’s wish was granted.

Omar Kayham

Mince, Peas, and Potatoes, Marg’s Favourite Dinner, with or without that which turns it into Curry.

Very tasty, a good kick, and I even managed to eat all the Potatoes.

Prawn Rogan Josh

Yvonne has not eaten much in the last few days due to an – ongoing lurgy – hence her quote:

Lovely, just what the doctor ordered. I wanted something with sauce and a bite.


The Spinach and Lentils were well within the mix, a Dish Hector will have to try. Ricky has probably been round the entire Menu at Sheesh Mahal, one could not forget the first time he sampled – Brains.

Simply the best – was his modest contribution.

Kabuli Balti

The name suggests an Afghanistan influence, a feature which made The Hector take special note. However, Chicken and Chickpeas do not float Hector’s Boat. Craig had other thoughts. If his Seekh Kebab impressed, this Balti raised his Level of Satisfaction to further heights. Craig was giving almost a running commentary on the extent to which he was enjoying being at Sheesh Mahal and eating this Dish in particular. He was hungry, he must have been to manage the Starter, finish his own, then sweep up the remnants of Yvonne’s Prawn Rogan Josh.

Absolutely Superb. First class Curry here.

You know what’s coming

Lamb Balti (on Bone) with extra Methi

The Bradford Taste was in Hector’s face from the off, this is why I come here, such a unique experience. Two features of this Curry spoiled Hector’s day. The Lamb Balti was lacking in Seasoning, significantly. This was almost enough to spoil this Dish, the second criticism nearly pushed Hector over the edge. Capsicum, since when did Sheesh Mahal Chefs add this Ballast? The Offending Vegetable was fished out. Back to the positives. The Spice Level Satisfied, the Meat was Excellent. As Craig and Yvonne ate heartily with knives and forks, so Hector, Chapatti in hand – ate properly. Bones were gnawed, cast aside, Pleasure resurrected. Despite that which made this well short of Perfection, still not too shabby.

Marg and Hector managed only three of the six Chapattis which were served. Ricky advised Craig and Yvonne they should eat the centre of their Rotis, as the edges would crisp, they did. Some venues do not differentiate between Chapattis and Rotis and try to pass them off as the same thing. They are not, IMHO, Chapattis win every time.

Marg lent across the table, napkin in hand. The Face of Hector was unceremoniously wiped. That was how to eat Curry. I need to create a bond with The Son of Taj to guarantee that a Hector Curry is served next time.

£53.40. Did The Rickmeister subsequently ask for the CAMRA Discount? Would he ever admit it if he did?

The Aftermath

And so to Manchester, the first of two January Trips, an Opperchancity to visit Favourite Venues and try new ones.


Kabob Koobideh (کباب کوبیده) is made with ground lamb or beef or a combination of the two. This is one of the most popular kabobs you can find on the streets of Iran. This Kabob is usually grilled over hot coals and is served in fancy restaurants and clubs, as well as in the little shacks scattered in any given recreation park. You can also find this kabob by following your nose in search of the source of the most heavenly aroma that fills the street or the indoor bazaar.

The aroma will lead you to a vendor, or as we call “Kabobi” (the Kabob Guy) with very modest equipment that sometimes can be as simple as a small charcoal grill and a bowl of ground lamb mixed with chopped onions and spices.

He will also have plenty of lavash or Sangak (thin Persian breads) on the side to make a quick wrap with the kabob right off the grill and maybe a grilled tomato with a slice of raw onion. Believe it or not the Kabob Koobideh grilled in these tiny little grills on the street corner smells more mouthwatering than any kabob served in fancy restaurants. No matter how sophisticated a restaurant menu, good Kabob Koobideh is as popular as any kabob offered on the menu and it is usually served with Persian Steamed Rice. In some restaurants this kabob is served side by side with a skewer of Kabob Barg (filet mignon kabob) and the dish is called Kabob Soltani, meaning fit for a soltan!

In our house Kabob Koobideh is served with Persian Steamed Rice and Sangak. A piece of Sangak is used to pull the kabob off the skewer and then divided among guests to enjoy. Hot kabob juices make the Sangak quite a desirable delicacy!
My Kabobi guy is my husband who has perfected his kabobs and this is his delicious recipe and technique. The technique to making kabobs is just as important as the recipe, if not more. No matter how great a recipe if the technique is not done correctly the outcome is going to be disappointing to say the least! I will be explaining his technique step by step, but I also want to mention one simple but important device that he uses when he grills kabobs. He places two hollow square metal pipes, purchased from hardware store, across the top and bottom of the grates so the meat grills without direct contact with the hot surface.

Finely chop the onion in the food processor. Transfer to a sieve and press on it with a spoon to drain all the liquid. Discard the liquid and mix the onion pulp with the ground meats

For best results make this kabob with fresh ground beef and lamb, not previously frozen, in room temperature. Mix the meat and onion pulp with the rest of the ingredients and knead with your fingers

After kneading the mixture for a few minutes it will resemble a paste that will stick together and will not fall apart when you pick it up in your hand. Make a ball with the mixture and place a 1-inch wide metal skewer on it, then start spreading the meat on the middle section of the skewer by opening and closing your fingers to stick the mixture securely to the skewer. Leave a few inches from the tip and handle section of the skewer clear for grilling. The thickness of the meat mixture should be about 1/2 inch all around the skewer.

Press the meat between your thumb and index finger to make several indentations about 1 inch apart. Arrange the prepared Kabobs on a shallow tray with raised sides or a baking dish, so the meat does not touch the surface of the pan.

Narrow skewers work better than wide ones for the vegetables. The vegetables take longer to get ready, so if there is enough room on the grill start with the vegetables and halfway through grilling add the kabob skewers. If the space is limited, grill the vegetables first and keep them warm until Kabobs are done. The kabobs are going to take only minutes to grill. Arrange the kabobs on the grill (over the two previously mentioned metal pipes) and then right away start turning them in the order that they were placed meaning, start turning the first skewer that was placed on the hot grill and continue with the rest of the skewers. The reason for this is that if one side of the kabob cooks through when you try to turn it, the uncooked part is going to fall off. Once the kabobs are grilled on both sides, you can turn them again until they are grilled to your taste.

Traditionally Kabob Koobideh is served with hot Persian Steamed Rice tossed with cubes of butter (room temperature) and sprinkled with Sumac. The drink of choice is usually Doogh (Persian Yogurt Drink) sprinkled with dried Persian Kakooti (an herb with a taste similar to Greek oregano or thyme that grows wild in the foothills of some areas of Iran). Persians love their Chelokabob (Rice and Kabob) with slices of raw onions (red or white) and fresh herbs (Sabzi Khordan). The golden beauties on the top right corner are pieces of TahDig which is the beloved crispy Lavash bread toasted in the bottom of the pot of Persian Rice.