Lamb Pistachio Kebabs with Turkish Spoon Salad
There’s nothing like a great kebab recipe to add to your culinary repertoire. My lamb and pistachio kebabs were inspired by my travels to Istanbul where I tried some incredibly flavorful and succulent Turkish “kebaps” throughout the city. The pistachio’s add richness and depth and work very well with the succulent lamb. The kebabs are very easy to make and can be cooked on the barbecue, using a grill pan, or a heavy duty fry-pan. I’ve paired them here with a Turkish spoon salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and pomegranate with a garlicky yogurt sauce. They are also delicious served with roasted potatoes a simple green salad. Although I developed this dish as part of a Ramadan Recipe Series with Australian Lamb and Beef, the kebabs are fabulous all year round no matter what the occasion. I hope you love them as much as I do!
For the Lamb Kebabs:
- 500 grams Australian ground lamb
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup shelled pistachios
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 scallions
- ½ small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fine bulgur, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Arabic bread for serving
Purée pistachios and ¼ cup water in a food processor until smooth. Add parsley, mint, chili flakes, allspice, garlic, scallions, and onions – pulse until almost smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add lamb, bulgur, salt, and pepper; mix to combine. Form a rough rectangle on a piece of parchment paper, smooth out the top. Score the meat lengthwise to form the size of the kebab while keeping the meat intact. Insert skewers into the meat, then cut and transfer kebabs to a parchment lined plate. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
Heat a grill pan or frying pan to high, add a little oil. Grill the kebabs, turning as needed and until slightly charred, golden, and cooked through, about 12-15 minutes depending on thickness. Transfer kebabs to a platter lined with Arabic bread and sprinkle with sumac. Serve with spoon salad and garlic yogurt.
For the Turkish Spoon Salad:
- 2 cucumbers
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- ½ red onion
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper
- 1 small green pepper
- 1 to 2 teaspoons spicy red pepper paste (I use Sriracha)
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- ½ teaspoon dried chopped chili (optional)
Cut all the vegetables in ½-cm dice and remove seeds as needed.
Make the dressing by whisking together the pomegranate molasses, olive oil, tomato purée, and dried chili to make the dressing. Add the vegetables and herbs and mix well. Add the pepper paste, season with salt and pepper, let macerate for 15 minutes.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds and pistachio.
For the Garlic Yogurt:
- ½ cup full fat plain yogurt
- A fat pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ clove garlic, crushed
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.