Al Halabi style kebabs with walnuts and pine nuts served with potato Moutabel

Well, my friend Phil was over last night and I fancied cooking something new. Largely so I could then write it up on here – how’s that for vanity? The weather was lovely yesterday so I fancied something a bit summery. I also fancied lamb after a visit with Alberto and several other friends to a brilliant Turkish restaurant on Saturday. This recipe seemed perfect. Like the Sujuk sausage rolls it comes from the book Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume and is fairly easy to do. It does include mushrooms through so I left them out as I don’t like them. I also left out the hemp seeds as a) they were only really decoration, b) I couldn’t find any!

This recipe serves 4 (allegedly. I made 8 kebabs and Phil and I had six, three each. I’ve got two left, uncooked, in the fridge which I may have tomorrow.)

For the kebabs:

500g lamb mince.

1 teaspoon of mint (the recipe doesn’t specify fresh or dried so I used fresh and finely chopped it)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

80g walnuts, roughly chopped (this seemed way too much to me so I used about 30g)

80g pine nuts, roughly chopped (this seemed way too much to me so I used about 30g)

1 small red pepper, finely chopped (I used about ¾ of a large red pepper)

80 mushrooms, finely chopped (Ugh! No thanks!)

100g mozzarella, finely chopped (I used about 70-80g)

For the Moutabel

2 large baking potatoes, cooked and roughly mashed (The recipe book says ‘jacket potatoes’ but it’s not clear whether that means potatoes that have been oven cooked in their jackets and then mashed, or just, as I have interpreted it here, two potatoes of the type you’d normally use for jacketing. Not least because it would increase the length of time needed for the recipe enormously if you had to oven cook the potatoes for an hour first. It also says to leave the skins on, which I didn’t. )

2 tablespoons of tahini

2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

½ teaspoon of ground cumin

½ tablespoon of hemp seeds. (I omitted these)

8 long skewers (ideally flat shish skewers)

Combine all the ingredients for the kebabs in a bowl and knead until is resembles a sticky dough. (This is really messy, but oddly therapeutic.)

Shape the kebabs on the skewers, using roughly 50g of meat mix for each kebab. (I ended up using about 80g per kebab) Shape the meat around the top of the skewer and pop them all in the freezer for 20 minutes. (This was tricky as the skewers I’d used were very long and thin!)

Remove the kebabs from the freezer and place directly onto a hot chargrill. (I don’t have a ‘chargrill’ so I just used the normal grill on the oven. I made sure that the grillpan was hot though so I got nice criss-cross markings on the kebabs. ) Cook for 10-12 minutes or so, turning to cook evenly. (It depends how ‘done’ you like them and how fat you’ve made them.) Also, remember, as I didn’t, that the wooden skewers do get hot during cooking….

Combine the mashed potato in a bowl with the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice and cumin. Mix well. Season and sprinkle with hemp seeds. (if you can find ‘em!)

Lovely, I served this with rocket and roasted vine piccolo tomatoes. I also sprinkled some pomegranate over the rocket as there’s a lovely restaurant in Brighton called Pomegranate that always serves a little bit of pomegranate on every dish. It’s a nice touch and gives the salad some crunch!

This all came out really well. The only thing I’d say is that the mash was a little dry – the tahini seems to have quite a drying effect, so I still added butter when mashing and I stuck a little extra yoghurt in to make it a bit creamier.




About neilche

Hi. My name's Neil. I live in Brighton with my flatmate (also Neil) and I work as a Librarian at a local college. I like cooking, eating and socialising with friends. Which is what prompted me to start this blog. I cycle everywhere around town - it helps to work off the calories!
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One Response to Al Halabi style kebabs with walnuts and pine nuts served with potato Moutabel

  1. Pingback: Oven-roasted lamb kebabs | Daily EZ Cooking

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