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Chilli and Garlic Kebab - Kabab Khashkhash

We’ve had The Aleppo Cookbook for ages and for some reason haven’t cooked too much out of it. It’s really dense with recipes and not so many photos – not that photos are essential, but they’re definitely helpful when flicking for inspiration. Anyhow, we took this book out a few weeks ago, determined to cook something, and chose these little kebabs for the barbecue. They were stunning! We served with spicy roast potatoes and salad but they would also be great as a starter with some sort of yoghurty dip.

Wine Suggestion: we love how these go so well with a good Tempranillo, a grape that flatters lamb and with a deft touch in the winery gives wonderful, complementary spices that work superbly with the warm spices of the Levant. For a bit of sophisticated elegance we had a glass of the Cantos de Valpiedra Rioja which is silky, smooth and refined.

Chilli and garlic kebab – Kabab Khashkhash – makes 10 skewers

  • 450g lamb mince
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 hot red chillies, seeds removed and chopped
  • 15g finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp Aleppo pepper or paprika (do try and find Aleppo pepper)
  • 1 tbsp Aleppo spice mix or seven-spice powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt, or to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well – hands are good for this. Transfer to a clean surface and knead for 30 seconds as you would bread dough.

Moisten your hands with water, then divide the meat into 10 prune-sized portions and form into balls.

Insert a wide, flat metal skewer through the middle of each meatball; then form the meat around the skewer to a length of about 14cm (similar to the picture above). Suspend the finished kebab over a deep baking dish resting the skewers on the sides.

Preheat a barbecue (preferably charcoal)and grill the kebabs until cooked how you like them.

(Original recipe from The Aleppo Cookbook by Marlene Matar, Head of Zeus, 2017.)

Chilli and Garlic Kebab

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