Cumin lamb skewers with preserved chillies


  • Serves 6 people

  • ½ onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 50 ml vegetable oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) pomegranate juice (see note)
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 kg boneless lamb leg, trimmed, cut into 2cm cubes
  • To serve: thick plain yoghurt
  • Preserved chillies
  • 4 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 30 gm sea salt flakes
  • Pickled cucumber
  • 90 ml rice vinegar
  • 30 ml Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds removed, shredded lengthways into strips
  • Spring onion flatbread
  • 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • For greasing: vegetable oil
01   For preserved chillies, process chilli, garlic and salt in a food processor until coarsely chopped, transfer to a container, cover and stand at room temperature for 2 days, then refrigerate until required.
02   Meanwhile, process onion and garlic in a small food processor until finely chopped, add oil and process to a paste. Add pomegranate juice, chilli and 2 tsp ground cumin, season to taste with salt and process to combine. Combine in a large bowl with lamb, stir to coat well and refrigerate to marinate (overnight).
03   For pickled cucumber, stir vinegar, wine and sugar in a bowl to dissolve sugar, add cucumber, toss to combine and refrigerate to lightly pickle (2-3 hours).
04   Meanwhile, for spring onion flatbread, combine flour, ½ tsp salt and 180ml water in a bowl, stir until smooth and combined, cover and stand to rest (1 hour). Halve dough, then roll out each piece on a lightly oiled surface to a 5mm-thick rectangle and scatter over the spring onion. Roll each into a long cylinder, then slice into 5 pieces. Roll out each piece to a rough 5mm-thick round and store on a piece of lightly oiled baking paper until required. Preheat the flat grill of a barbecue or a frying pan to medium-high heat. Drizzle with a little oil then cook in batches until bread puffs (1-2 minutes), turn and cook until lightly browned (1-2 minutes). Keep warm.
05   Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat. Thread lamb pieces onto metal skewers (leave a little space in between so lamb can brown) and barbecue, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked to your liking (3-4 minutes for medium).
06   Combine remaining cumin with 1 tbsp sea salt flakes, scatter over lamb skewers and serve with preserved chillies, pickled cucumber, spring onion flatbread and yoghurt.
Note For pomegranate juice, remove seeds from pomegranate with a spoon, process in a food processor, then strain through a sieve. If pomegranates are unavailable, substitute shop-bought unsweetened pomegranate juice or lemon juice.

This recipe is from the January 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







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