Boti Kebabs


Boti kebabs are a popular Mughlai dish made with lamb. Traditionally the whole lamb’s leg muscle is marinated overnight in spiced yoghurt, then speared with metal skewers and cooked slowly over hot embers. You can also cook the kebabs in the oven or you could try them on a small charcoal burner. You may not find yourself faced with an imminent elephant ride, like Mr Fogg, but these juicy, soft morsels should fortify you against any smaller hurdles that life throws into your path.


  • 900g/2lb lean sirloin steak or lamb leg meat
  • 60ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, to serve

For the Marinade

  • 110g/4oz yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Suggestions for the Skewers

  • 2 small green peppers, each cut into 8 pieces, or 1 large green pepper, cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 16 pieces
  • 16 mushrooms


Cut the meat into 4cm/ inch pieces and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over them and leave them to soak for 5 minutes. Drain well and place in a clean bowl.

Add the marinade ingredients to the bowl and mix well with your hands to make sure the meat is seasoned and coated on all sides. Cover with clingfilm and pop into the fridge to marinate for 5 hours, or overnight.

When the meat is ready you can begin to construct your kebabs, alternating pieces of meat with whatever other suggested ingredients you are using until the skewer is splendid.

Cook over a slow-burning charcoal fire until the meat is browned and tender, basting frequently with the marinade and the oil.

If you are cooking the kebabs in the oven, preheat it to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Place the kebabs in a non-stick ovenproof tray, cover them with foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and baste the kebabs with the marinade, then reduce the heat to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

While the kebabs are cooking, mix together the yoghurt, lemon juice, poppy seeds and mint in a bowl to make a dressing. When the kebabs are ready, remove the skewers and serve the meat in flatbreads, with the yoghurt dressing drizzled over the meat.

To serve

  • 4 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves