Chelou kabab

Chelou kabab

Grilled lamb with rice

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 lamb loins, each about 20 cm long (see note)
155g onion, grated or minced
185ml lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper, to season
6 small tomatoes
melted ghee, for brushing

For serving

Quantity Ingredient
Chelou
6 egg yolks, in their half-shells
6 knobs butter
sumac, for sprinkling
salt and freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
yoghurt, (optional)

Method

  1. Remove the fillets from the loins. Trim all fat and gristle from the main muscles (the ‘eye’). Slice each piece lengthways, with the grain, into three, giving strips of lamb about 8 cm wide, 20 cm long and 8 mm thick. Split each fillet without cutting right through, then open each one out.
  2. Lightly hammer the meat with a heavy-bladed knife to make fine, shallow incisions along the length of the meat.
  3. Place the onion in a sieve over a bowl and press to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp. Add the lemon juice and season with pepper. Place the lamb in this marinade, stirring to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours, or longer, turning the meat occasionally.
  4. Pass a flat, sword-like skewer through the length of each lamb strip. Cut a cross into the rounded end of each tomato, then thread the tomatoes onto a skewer.
  5. Lightly brush the meat and tomatoes with melted ghee. Cook the meat over a glowing charcoal fire for about 5 minutes, turning frequently; grill the tomatoes next to the kababs for about 4 minutes, until the skin blisters. The meat will flop somewhat at the beginning of cooking. As it cooks it flattens out — a good indication it is ready. It should be lightly browned and just cooked through.
  6. Slide the lamb off the skewers. Serve on individual plates of hot chelou, with a tomato as garnish for each serve. Each diner places an egg yolk in the centre of their hot chelou and stirs it into the rice. Butter, sumac, salt and pepper are then stirred into the rice before eating. Yoghurt can be added, if desired.
  7. Speed is the essence of a good chelou kabab meal, as it is more enjoyable when very hot.

Note

  • Ask your butcher to remove the backbones from the loins, or do this yourself with a boning knife. This dish may be prepared more economically with lamb leg, although it will be slightly less authentic. Bone the leg and trim off all fat and fine sinew; cut the meat into 8 cm squares instead of long strips. Lightly hammer with a sharp knife to make shallow incisions. Thread four pieces onto each skewer, to serve 8.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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