This Syrian kabab is made from lamb mince and served on roasted tomatoes. Usually made on a charcoal barbecue, you can make a relatively simple version in a frying pan at home.
- 500 g lamb mince
- 1 large green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, or hot paprika
- 1 tsp Aleppo seven spice (see Note), or garam masala
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt, plus extra to season
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup finely shredded parsley
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 large vine–ripened tomatoes
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp sumac
- lemon wedges, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: 2 hours
- In a large bowl, place the lamb mince, chopped chillies, garlic, Aleppo pepper, Aleppo seven spice, cinnamon, salt, pepper, half the parsley and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and combine well by hand. Press the mixture firmly into a small rectangular tray (or place back into the tray the lamb mince came in) and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
- Halve the tomatoes and remove the stalk. Place the tomatoes, cut - side down into a lightly oiled baking dish and roast for 20 minutes. Slip the skins off the tomatoes and crush the flesh with a fork, seasoning well with salt. Keep warm while you cook the kababs.
- Remove the lamb mince from the fridge and turn it out onto a cutting board, maintaining the rectangular shape. Cut the mince into 4 thick kebabs.
- Heat a frying pan over high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the kebabs on all sides for about 5 minutes until well-browned and cooked through.
- Transfer the tomato puree to a serving plate and place the kebabs on top. Scatter with the red onion, the reserved parsley and the sumac. Serve with lemon wedges.
• Aleppo pepper is a bright red pepper powder common in Syrian cooking. Aleppo seven spice (al-bhar al-halabi) is a mixture of spices commonly including dried ginger, allspice, black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove.
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