Lamb skewers with tzatziki

These lamb skewers have a lovely spiciness, and the tzatziki will tone down those flavours a little bit. Serve the skewers with a simple green salad, a Greek salad or some buttery couscous. And yes, you can buy the tzatziki, but it’s so easy to make your own.

For this recipe you will need 12 medium metal skewers or wide bamboo skewers. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for an hour before using them, so they don’t burn on the barbecue.

Ingredients

  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 40 g ( oz/¼ cup) sesame seeds
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Tzatziki

  • 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 260 g ( oz/1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

Method

Combine the lamb, grated onion, garlic, cumin, ras el hanout, cardamom, ginger and oregano in a bowl and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Take 2 heaped tablespoons of the lamb mixture and shape it into a long oval, then press it around one of the skewers. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 12 skewers in total. Lightly brush the lamb skewers with the olive oil.

Preheat a barbecue grill or chargrill pan to medium. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over a plate and casually dip the lamb into the seeds, so as to haphazardly cover the lamb in the seeds. Cook the skewers, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the lamb is cooked through.

Meanwhile, to make the tzatziki, grate the cucumber into a bowl and add the salt. Leave for 10 minutes, then tip the cucumber (and any liquid) into a sieve. Using a spoon, press the cucumber against the sieve to remove all the excess liquid. Return the cucumber to the bowl and add the garlic, yoghurt and white pepper. Stir to combine. Serve the lamb skewers with the tzatziki, lemon wedges and a Greek salad.

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