Turkish cuisine is rich with succulent kebabs, cooked over charcoal. I’d be very hard pushed to pick one particular kebab as a true favourite, but Adana Lamb Kebabs would certainly be within the conversion. Rich lamb brightened up with parsley and lightly spiced with Aleppo chilli – it’s simply delicious.
We’ve added some drama to our version, rolling the minced lamb kebabs in a pistachio crumb for a vibrant, nutty finish.
500g Minced Lamb,
50g Pistachios, shelled
1 Large Shallot,
1 Garlic Clove,
2 tsp. Za’atar,
1 tsp. Aleppo Chilli Flakes, or ¾ tsp regular chili flakes
Zest of 1 Lemon
Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper
THE PISTACHIO CRUMB
Add the shelled pistachios into a food processor and blitz until a fine crumb is achieved. Make sure you do not over mix or you’ll end up with pistachio butter.
Transfer to a plate and set aside until needed.
HOW TO MAKE THE ADANA LAMB KEBABS
Add the shallot, garlic, parsley, chilli flakes, lemon zest and za’atar into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
In a large mixing bowl add the lamb mince and season with salt and pepper. Try and loosen the mince so that the seasoning is evenly spread over the meat.
Add the chopped herb mixture to the bowl and thoroughly mix together until evenly combined.
TIP – At this point, you should heat a small pan and fry off a little of the mixture and then taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Divide the lamb mixture into 6 equal portions. Using lightly oiled hands, form each portion into a ball and then thread onto either metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water. With the lamb kebab mixture in the centre of the skewer, squeeze the kebab along the length of the skewer to create a long, thin kebab about the width of a classic sausage and lightly flatten. Transfer to a large plate and repeat until you have 6 lamb kebabs.
Transfer the skewers to the fridge for 30 mins to firm up.
HOW TO COOK THE ADANA LAMB KEBABS
TIP – One of the beautiful things about this recipe is that you can cook the minced lamb kebabs in a variety of ways. The barbecue feels like the best option as far as flavour is concerned. On the other hand, grilling on a griddle pan develops the best char and cooking in a very hot oven seems to yield the tenderest meat. This recipe offers cooking the kebabs in the oven as you can enjoy them all year round this way but you can cook them however you prefer.
Remove the minced lamb kebabs from the fridge, about 10 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 220Cº or its highest setting.
Balance the skewers over a deep-sided roasting tray so that the meat is suspended over the tray.
Place the kebabs into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning over halfway through until cooked through and starting to char.
TIP – If cooking on a barbecue or griddle pan, these will cook over a medium heat in about 10-15 minutes, turning over halfway through until cooked through and just starting to char.
Scatter the pistachio crumb evenly over a small plate. Roll the lamb kebabs in the pistachio crumb until evenly coated in a fine layer of the pistachio. Serve immediately with flatbreads, salad, pickles and yoghurt or simply with rice and grilled vegetables.