Chargrilled lamb kebabs, chermoula

by Tim Maddams

Succulent, juicy, well-seasoned kebabs with a piquant dressing

Lamb kebabs, such a perfect thing: crispy charred fat and succulent, juicy, well-seasoned, lightly spiced flesh combine with a piquant dressing to infinitely elevate this humble fare to a truly delightful moment of foodie heaven. Eat one, then wipe your chin and start on another one...


For the kebabs:
600g diced lamb leg meat, cut into 2cm rough cubes
A few lightly crushed coriander seeds
20ml good olive oil
12 medium sized bamboo skewers

For the chermoula:
3g coriander seeds
3g cumin seeds
3g caraway seeds
3g fennel seeds
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch of coriander
10g preserved lemon
1 good hot fresh red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
10g sumac
150ml rapeseed oil


Season the meat well with the coriander seeds and some pepper and salt, then toss together with the oil so every piece gets lightly coated. Thread the chunks of meat onto the sticks without bunching it all up too much—this allows the heat to more effectively penetrate and helps to speed up cooking time. The kebabs can be made in advance and stored in the fridge but make sure you take them out an hour or so before cooking so they can warm up a little.

To make the chermoula, lightly toast the whole spices and then coarsely crush them. Chop the herbs and preserved lemon and pop them into a blender with the garlic, oil, chilli and spices. Blend to a paste, adding more oil if needs be and more chilli if you roll that way.

To cook the kebabs, heat a good, deeply furrowed grill pan to smoking temperature and place the kebabs on this—as many as will comfortably fit. Allow them to cook almost halfway through before turning, as this allows them to settle in and stops them drying out from too much moving about. Turn, then allow to cook for a little longer until they firm up, have some nice charred and smoked bits and some moisture starting to escape. Place them on a warmed plate and spoon over some of the freshly made chermoula.

Recipe: Tim Maddams