Pan-Cooked Lamb Kebab

Karayee Gosfand


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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By Durkhanai Ayubi

Published 2020

  • About

This dish combines lamb with several delicate spices, including the chaar masalah blend, for the perfect balance of flavours. It is traditionally made in a karayee – a large, shallow, heavy-based pan, like that used to make tokhme banjanromi. Because a karayee allows liquid to evaporate quickly while cooking, the result is meat that is deliciously tender, but not swimming in sauce, and infused with the flavours of the vegetables and spices with which it’s cooked.

Traditionally, the hot karayee would be placed at the centre of the dining table so people can help themselves to the lamb and vegetables, which are almost always enjoyed with hot naan flatbread, either home-made or shop-bought.


  • 80 ml (β…“ cup) sunflower oil
  • 3 kg (6 lb 12 oz) lamb backstrap or loin fillet, cut into large strips
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
  • 2 tablespoons chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chaar masalah
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, purΓ©ed in a blender
  • 70 g (ΒΌ cup) plain yoghurt
  • 1 large brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh long red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • Naan flatbread, to serve


Heat the oil in a large karayee, or shallow, heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Once hot, carefully add the lamb and fry turning occasionally, for 10–15 minutes, or until browned. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the spices, 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste) and 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, stir to combine and fry for 2–3 minutes, or until fragrant.

Stir in the tomato and yoghurt to combine, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and tender when pierced.

Add the onion and fresh chilli, stir to combine and cook for another 2–3 minutes, or until they just soften. Serve hot on a large serving platter, garnished with coriander and spring onion, and with naan flatbread on the side.