Kebabs with zucchini tzatziki and za’atar


  • Serves 6 people

Homemade za'atar tastes much better than the shop-bought equivalent. Once you try it, you'll want to sprinkle it on everything. Begin this recipe a day ahead to make the zucchini tzatziki. This recipe makes 12 kebabs.

  • 1.5 kg piece of boneless pork leg or pork shin, skin removed, cut into rough 2cm pieces
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp each ground cumin, sweet paprika and dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • To serve: lemon wedges, parsley, coriander and mint leaves (all optional)
  • To serve: pita bread
  • Zucchini tzatziki
  • 600 gm thick plain yoghurt
  • 3 zucchini, coarsely grated
  • garlic cloves, crushed
  • Juice of 1½ lemons
  • Pickled onion
  • 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 4 Spanish onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tbsp each pomegranate juice and honey
  • Za’atar
  • 35 gm (¼ cup) sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup (firmly packed) oregano leaves
  • 2 tbsp (firmly packed) thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp sumac
01   For zucchini tzatziki, place yoghurt in a muslin-lined colander over a bowl, cover and refrigerate until whey has drained and yoghurt is very thick (overnight), then discard whey. Transfer yoghurt to a bowl, add remaining ingredients, season to taste, mix to combine and refrigerate until required.
02   Meanwhile, skewer 6 pieces of pork onto each of 12 wooden skewers and place in a non-reactive container. Add lemon juice, oil, spices, oregano and garlic, toss to combine and refrigerate to marinate (1-2 hours).
03   For pickled onion, bring vinegar and sugar to the simmer in a saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, then set aside to cool. Add remaining ingredients and set aside for flavours to develop until required.
04   For za’atar, toast sesame seeds and herbs in a small saucepan over medium heat until seeds are just golden and herbs are dried (5-7 minutes). Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add sumac and 1 tbsp sea salt, coarsely grind and set aside.
05   Preheat barbecue to medium heat, add kebabs and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, wrap pita bread in foil and warm on the barbecue or in a low-temperature oven. Serve with kebabs, zucchini tzatziki, pickled onion and za’atar.
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