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Recipe of the Week: Kebabs with Hummus & Tabbouleh

Recipe of the Week: Classic Lamb Kebabs with Hummus & Tabbouleh

Dear Reader

Here we share with you the amalgamated Recipes  of Roberta Muir for preparing the Lebanese and Middle Eastern Kebabs with Hoummos and Tabouli

Grilling meat on a skewer over coals is one of the most basic forms of cooking. So kebabs, in their many forms, are popular throughout a huge area covering the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, the Caucasus and on to the Indian sub-continent (from whence they spread to South East Asia as satays).

There’s shaved doner kebabs (also called gyros, yeeros or shwarma), minced kefta or kofte and, my favourite: shish kebab. While ‘shish’ simply means skewer and ‘kebab’, roasted meat, shish kebabs as we know them are generally made from cubed lamb. They’re tasty, juicy and super simple to prepare ahead of time, making them perfect for a casual barbecue with friends. Pour the Yeni raki or, for a truly Australian spin, Oozo Aussie ouzo distilled in the Barossa Valley, and dig in!

Makes 8 skewers (serves 4)

 

Ingredients

  • 500g lamb backstrap
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsley crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt flakes, crushed
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • Hummus, for serving
  • Tabbouleh, for serving
  • Lebanese bread, for serving

Method

  1. Cut lamb into 24 cubes.
  2. Combine oil, garlic, cumin, chilli and salt.
  3. Add lamb, toss well to combine, cover and refrigerate overnight or set aside at room temperature for an hour or 2. If refrigerating, bring back to room temperature before cooking.
  4. Slice onion into eight wedges, then cut each piece in half to give 16 small layered wedges.
  5. Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan.
  6. Meanwhile, thread 3 pieces of lamb onto each of 8 small skewers with a wedge of onion between each piece (metal is traditional, but bamboo works just as well).
  7. Cook skewers for 2-3 minutes, until well coloured, then turn and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until cooked to your liking.
  8. Serve with hummus, tabbouli and Lebanese bread for everyone to make their own wraps.

ROBERTA’S TABBOULEH

You know I’m a fan of traditional recipes … but every now and then I prefer to do something my way.So this is my version of the popular Lebanese parsley salad tabbouleh, using far more cracked wheat than any Lebanese cook ever would. For a more traditional tabbouleh, just reduce the bulgur to between half and a quarter of a cup.
This recipe makes a big bowl and you could halve it if you like, but it keeps so well in the fridge (for at least a week) that there doesn’t seem to be any point. Serve it with any grilled or roasted meat, in wraps or on its own as a healthy snack.
Serves a crowd

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fine bulgur (parboiled cracked wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons strained lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes, crushed, more or less to taste
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups finely sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ cup finely diced tomato
  • ¼ cup finely sliced mint leaves
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Cos lettuce leaves, for serving

Method

  1. Place bulgur into a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and set aside for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine lemon juice and salt in a screw top jar, add oil and shake to combine well.
  3. Drain bulgur in a sieve, pressing to remove excess water.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl with the olive oil mixture and toss to combine well.
  5. Add parsley, tomato, mint and green onion and toss again.
  6. Line a platter with lettuce leaves, mound tabbouleh into them and serve.

ROBERTA’S Hummus

… but you can leave them on if you prefer a coarser texture or are short on time. I don’t add garlic to my hummus, but you can if you like, though it’s best used within a day or 2 in that case; otherwise it lasts for up to a week, covered in the fridge. Serve it with Pita Crisps for a quick snack, or add a few more nibbles for a long lazy mezze (see suggestions below). Pour a glass or 2 of Yeni raki to round it all out.
Serves 6

The  Hummus

I was taught to make hummus by a Cypriot friend’s grandmother, and her recipe produces the smoothest, creamiest hummus I’ve ever had. She insisted that you should remove the skin from the chickpeas to get a smoother texture. I find it quite therapeutic popping them out of their little casings …

… but you can leave them on if you prefer a coarser texture or are short on time. I don’t add garlic to my hummus, but you can if you like, though it’s best used within a day or 2 in that case; otherwise it lasts for up to a week, covered in the fridge. Serve it with Pita Crisps for a quick snack, or add a few more nibbles for a long lazy mezze (see suggestions below). Pour a glass or 2 of Yeni raki to round it all out.
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 400g canned chickpeas
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup tahini, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Salt flakes, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Pita Crisps, for serving

Method

  1. Drain chickpeas and rinse well. Press each chickpea gently between thumb and forefinger to remove the skin.
  2. Place in a blender or food processor and puree.
  3. Add lemon juice, tahini, oil and salt and process until smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons of cold water to give a thick, creamy consistency.
  4. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt or tahini if you like.
  5. Transfer to a wide bowl, spreading it out as much as possible.
  6. Top with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of cayenne and serve with Pita Crisps.
Copyright © 2021 Roberta Muir, All rights reserved.

 

If you like this recipe, please share it using one of the links below. And if you love this sort of food (who doesn’t?!), check out my Top 5 Middle Eastern Restaurants in Sydney!
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For a print-friendly version of this recipe (and to check out more deliciously simple dishes) visit my Recipes page.
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Roberta Muir on ST

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