Shish (sometimes seen spelt as “sheek”, which means “skewer” in Turkish) kebabs are usually made by forming spiced minced meat onto skewers, and then either baking or grilling them until the meat is cooked.
Here I sacrifice tradition on the high altar of convenience, and abandon skewers, instead forming smaller “sausages”, which I then bake in the oven.
Together with a quick vegetable curry this makes for an ideal mid-week meal.
For the kebabs
- 1kg minced lamb
- 60g of the spice mix of your choice – see notes
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the curry
- 1 portion base curry sauce – see here for my recipe
- 1 medium aubergine
- 250g frozen spinach
For the curry
- Make up a batch of the base curry sauce in a large pan. Cut the aubergine into roughly 1 inch cubes, and place in the sauce. Place the frozen spinach into the sauce.
- Bring the sauce up to a low simmer, and cook until the aubergine is tender, about 20 minutes or so.
For the kebabs
- Place the minced lamb in a large mixing bowl. Add the spice mix, and mix well with your hands. Place in the fridge for about an hour or so to let the meat take on the flavours of the spices.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Take the meat out of the fridge, and allow to come to room temperature. Add the eggs, and mix very well again by hand.
- Form the kebabs. Take a portion of the meat mixture slightly bigger than a golf ball, but not quite as large as a tennis ball, and roll it out into a sausage shape. From 1kg of minced lamb, you should get about 15 kebabs.
- Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place the kebabs on the tray. There should be no need to grease or oil it, the fat in the lamb should be enough to prevent the kebabs from sticking.
- Bake the kebabs for approx. 30 mins, or until they turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them after the 20 minute mark, anyroad.
- Remove the kebabs from the oven, and place on kitchen paper to drain somewhat. Serve with the aubergine and spinach curry, and steamed cauliflower.
The spice mix I used in this version of shish kebab came from a local spice importer based here in Malmö, “Vincent’s Spices”, which we came across at the rather wonderful “Özen Allfrukt” supermarket.
This particular spice mix, labelled “Lammkrydda”, or literally “Lamb spice”, consisted of coriander, cumin, garlic, pepper, sage,rosemary, marjoram, citric acid, and salt.
Feel free to experiment with your own blend of spices, as long as you have roughly the same meat to spice ratio you should be good to go. Indian food Ace Pat Chapman makes shish kebabs with a curry masala consisting of 15 dried powdered spices, plus fresh coriander and mint leaves, fresh garlic, ginger, and chillies, as well as a touch of aromatic salt made up from salt, allspice, and cinnamon. In place of the curry masala you could use a good quality curry powder.