There are three steps to making this version with lamb, but they’re all easy and you can do the spice rub and yogurt ahead of time. Serves 4:
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns or 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 2teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil (for grill)
- 1¼pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- Lemon zest
Rub: Coarsely grind cumin seeds, peppercorns, caraway seeds, red pepper flakes, sugar salt and pepper in spice mill or with mortar and pestle.
Lamb: Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Oil grates. Thread lamb onto 6–8 skewers, leaving a small gap between each piece of meat. Sprinkle generously with spice blend, pressing it onto the meat with your hands to help it adhere if needed.
Grill lamb over direct heat, turning every minute or so, until browned and beginning to char in spots, about 4 minutes. Move to cooler side of grill and continue to grill until lamb is cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare.
Yogurt sauce: Stir garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice into yogurt in a small bowl to combine; season with salt and pepper. Top garlic yogurt with cracked black pepper and a little lemon zest. Serve with the lamb and enjoy!
My verdict: If you’re looking for something to go with the baked rice, this is what we paired with it and it was a great dinner! Frank doesn’t think it’s really a kebab without veggies, so he added mushrooms, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions and some lamb sausage to the skewers which meant we could have fed 6 easily. I “marinated” the lamb in the rub overnight and I’m not sure if that’s why it seemed a little overly peppery. Next time, maybe start with a heaping teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns and add accordingly.
If you don’t have a grill, you know a grill pan will work just fine.
The yogurt sauce is delicious (and calmed the heat from the peppercorns a bit). Definitely make it if you’re doing the kebabs. There was a little leftover which I added some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to and used it for salad dressing the next day. Need to remember that!