Inspired by the Turkish kebab, this interpretation uses eggplant instead of bread and doesn’t require a rotisserie to cook the lamb. If time is tight, buy chargrilled eggplant slices from the deli. Serve with a simple salad of green leaves dressed in lemon juice.
- 1 small red onion
- 320 g diced lamb
- 1 tbsp baharat (see Note)
- 1 tbsp extra–virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and black pepper
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 tomato, sliced, to serve
- 6 metal skewers
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts, lightly toasted, plus extra, to serve
- 1 clove garlic
- 50 g Greek yoghurt
- 2–3 tsp lemon juice
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.
Resting time 15 minutes
Grate three-quarters of the onion and combine with the lamb, baharat, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste. Massage the marinade into the lamb and set aside for 15 minutes. Finely chop the remaining onion and set aside.
For the dressing, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle to a paste. Add the walnuts and pound until smooth. Gradually stir in the yoghurt until combined. Add the lemon juice 1–2 teaspoons water and a pinch of baharat. Season to taste and adjust the balance with more lemon juice if necessary.
Preheat barbecue or chargrill to high. Thread 3–4 pieces of lamb onto each skewer. Cut the eggplant lengthways into 3mm-thick slices and brush lightly with 1–1½ tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste.
Cook eggplant for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden and tender, set aside. Cook lamb for 7–8 minutes, turning regularly, until just cooked and lightly charred.
Arrange the eggplant on plates and top with walnut and yoghurt sauce and tomato, reserved onion and extra walnuts. Arrange lamb skewers to the side and serve with lemon wedges.
• Baharat, also known as Lebanese seven-spice, is available from quality spice suppliers. If you cannot lay your hands on any, substitute even amounts of ground paprika, cumin, coriander with a few pinches of balck pepper and mixed spice.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.
Cast iron grill and Studio William fork and knife, both from Chef and the Cook. Fika napkins from Country Road. Aria dinner plate from Papaya.