Saturday, July 18, 2009

Moroccan Lamb Shish-Kebobs

It's the seasonings that make any shish-kabob unique. Whether it's Indian, Persian, Turkish, Greek, or say perhaps Moroccan, the key is in the seasonings and the way they are cooked.

Many kibob dishes aren't cooked on a grill even! However, we'll be sticking with the one most Westerners are familiar with and that means grilling them. Open flame, gas, or charcoal, your choice.

Shish-kibabs specifically refer to those that are grilled. Yummers!

BTW have you noticed I've used a lot of different spellings for "kabob"? You have? Good for you. I'm doing that since there are many different correct spellings depending on what country you are from.

I'll go with kebob from here on out. Also, I'll drop the "shish" since this whole post is about kebobs cooked on a grill. The reason why you are getting this wonderful dish is that a blog-buddy of mine had a Moroccan Feast Night and I thought this would make a good addition. I was right, of course.

I'm not going to give you an exact amount of meat to use. Why? Well you can use this as a side dish or a main course AND once you have the spice mix you can use it for other things. I keep a tin of it made up in the pantry so I only have to use what I need for the amount of lamb I have.

Oh, this also makes a very good rub for lamb roasts, chicken and beef. It's very versatile.

I realize that not all of you will have access to all the ingredients, so I'm also including appropriate substitutions, no worries.

If using bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them for an hour before using, don't want them to flame.

Here's what you need:

Lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
bbq skewers
Some kind of grill. Gas, charcoal, open flame (be careful!). Heck, you can even do them under the broiler in your oven if need be.

Equal amounts (by volume) of the following:
coriander powder
dried red bell pepper powder
cumin powder
ginger powder
garlic powder
ground, dried sumac
chilli powder (only a bit though)
cassia powder
ground up cloves
sea salt

A tsp of each will make enough for several meals, no worries.

What can be substituted:

Coriander is called cilantro in North America, no worries.

Mild paprika powder can be used in place of the dried bell pepper powder (that's what paprika is, BTW).

Cinnamon can be subbed for cassia -they are so similar some folks think they are the same thing.

Ground sumac is one of the main ones. If you absolutely can't find it, then tamarind powder will work, and as a last resort: Lemon pepper powder.

Here's what you do:

Mix all the powders and seasonings in a bowl. You should have a wonderful, earthy smell from the powder combination. Thread the lamb pieces onto your skewers, and coat them with the rub. If the rub won't stick then you can drizzle a SMALL amount of olive oil on the kebobs to help the rub stick. You shouldn't have do do that though, the rub should stick. Especially if you, ah, rub the rub in.

A little bit goes a long way, btw.

Grill them on a low heat till they are done to your liking.

Serve with a bowl of greek yoghurt for a dipping sauce.



Alaska-womom said...

Sounds delish!
I think coriander is the seed that forms on the cilantro once it has gone to seed.
Have you ever tried Penzys spices? You can find them online-warning you may fall in love!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

This rub has loads of uses, very tasty.

Never even heard of Penzys spices. It's also hard to mail order food stuff from outside Oz as AQIS is pretty tight about letting foodstuff in --bastahds.

Coriander=Cilantro. The powder is the powdered seeds and the fresh stuff is the leaves, but they are the same plant. It originated in the Eastern Med and was popular in ancient Rome. Obviously trade routes introduced it to India and China (long before Marco Polo), so many people think it originated in the Far East. I've also heard you can dry and powder the roots, but I'm having a hard time finding any of that --it's supposed to have a much different flavour. I used to grow my own, but it's a pretty tempramental herb so I don't bother anymore. Did you know the ancient Scots used to sugar-coat the seeds and eat them like candy?

Yes, I'm a treasure-trove of useless information you won't find on wikipedia :)

Alaska-womom said...

So, I am enlightened.
I "grow my own."
The best time is during the cooler season and then it is a cinch.
Keep it wet ans cool and you will have lots of the lovely green herb.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Alaska-womom: DO YOU JUST STORE ALL THAT RIGHT OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD No, I just pulled it out of my a**!! Ha, I joke. I seem to remember certain types of info easily... food is one of them. The World Encyclopedia of Food is a good place to start --I've got it in hardback, just under 800 pages in a very tight typeset --great bedtime reading. I also collect not only cookbooks but culinary books about various regions and countries. For some reason, food facts tend to stick in my mind. I *think* a tee-chur of mine called this "larnin" that ya git from "stud-ee-yun". RE coriander: by the time our hot summer cools off the coriander has already ran to seed. I guess I need to set up a "cool" house for growing it, eh?