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Taste Magazine - Indian Lamb Kebabs

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Indian Lamb Kebabs

Featured in Taste Magazine - Mar 2017

3-4 servings

This Indian kebab marinade is equally perfect for a weekend barbecue or a Tuesday night dinner (and the marinade will keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks and can be used with beef, lamb, or chicken). And soy sauce in an Indian dish? You better believe it. It’s natural umami and takes the lamb in a very interesting direction.  


  • 2 cups rough-chopped red onions
  • ½ cup curry leaves
  • 1 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rough-chopped serrano chilies
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (dark preferred but regular is okay)
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder


  1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil in a wide, nonstick pan. Add the onions and reduce heat to medium. Lightly fry the onions for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent and the edges are lightly browning.
  2. Add the curry leaves, ginger, garlic, serranos, and stir for 1-2 minutes. Keep the heat at medium-low; you don’t want the onions or garlic to overcook.
  3. Add the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, and salt. Stir thoroughly and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat.
  4. After the mixture has cooled, blend in food processor and buzz to a smooth paste. Note: The mixture (masala) will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
  5. Cut the lamb into small even pieces (approx. 2 inches) that can easily be skewered. Approximately 5 pieces should fit on a 10-inch skewer.
  6. Season the meat liberally with kosher salt. Let the meat sit for 10 minutes so that the salt incorporates into the meat and then liberally apply the marinade; about 1/3 cup per pound of meat should be just right.
  7. Let the meat marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
  8. Skewer the meat (if using wooden skewers, soak them for 5-10 minutes so they don’t burn on the grill) and brush with canola oil.
  9. Fire up the grill and cook your skewers to the medium-rare. On a hot grill, it should take a couple of minutes per side. Enjoy as a taco or wrap on warm pita with a creamy slaw, fresh onions and cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Recipe from Meherwan Irani


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