Cookbook Profile

Afghan Lamb Kabobs
with Ginger, Red Wine, and Bay Leaves

Serves 4


Afghan Lamb Kabobs All through Pakistan and Afghanistan, restaurants and roadside barbecue stalls produce iron skewers of lamb, chicken, and occasionally beef. The skewers are terrifying—about a yard long—and served in great bundles in the middle of the table with huge piles of delicious fresh naan bread. Muslim cooks wouldn't use wine or the ginger, for that matter, but I think it improves the flavor enormously. Beef is also good cooked this way.


1 small leg of lamb, about 3 lb.
6 tablespoons ginger purée or
   2 inches fresh ginger, grated
1/2 bottle red wine, or to cover
2 fresh bay leaves, bruised
Ghee, mustard oil, or olive oil, for brushing
Sea salt
Naan bread or flour tortillas

Cucumber Raita (optional)
1 cucumber, seeded, sliced, salted,
   then rinsed and patted dry
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 long metal kabob skewers


Ask the butcher to cut the leg of lamb across the bone into thick slices, about 1-1/4 inches wide. Remove and discard the central bone from each slice, then cut the meat into 1-1/4 inch cubes.

Put in a bowl, add the ginger, and turn to coat. Add the wine and bay leaves, cover, then marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Remove from the marinade and pat dry. Thread onto metal skewers, brush with melted ghee or oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.

Mix the Raita ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Light an outdoor grill or preheat a broiler until very hot. Grill or broil the kabobs for about 5 minutes on each side, until the meat is crisp and brown outside and still pink inside. Serve with the raita and warmed naan bread or tortillas.

Buy the Book!


Sticks & Skewers
By Elsa Petersen-Schepelern
Time Life Books
Hardback, $15.95
Color photos throughout
ISBN: 0-7370-2034-2
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Sticks & Skewers



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This page created June 2000