Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
Requiring a little more effort than the usual lamb shish kebab, this Turkish inspired dish is perfect for barbecues and boasts the fresh flavours of Spring Lamb and vegetables. Traditionally in Turkey, sticky chilli flakes that have been roasted are used to season the kebabs, but your regular supermarket chilli also does the trick.
•2 peppers (of any colour)
•400g minced lamb
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 onion, peeled, grated and excess liquid squeezed out
•2 large pinches each of dried mint, crushed chilli flakes and ground cumin
•Salt and pepper
•2 thin aubergines (around 250g each), trimmed at both ends
•2 tomatoes, halved if cooking on a barbecue/griddle, quartered for under the grill
•Strained yoghurt, to serve
•Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the grill or get a barbecue good and hot. Grill the peppers whole, either under the grill, on the barbecue or directly over the flame of the hob, then put in a bowl, cover with clingfilm, and leave to cool.
In a bowl, use your hands to combine the lamb, garlic and onion with the dried mint, chilli, cumin, and seasoning. Divide the mixture into four rough balls.
Cut each aubergine into three horizontally, keeping each set of three separate. Season the cut sides of the aubergine, then rebuild each aubergine vertically, as a tower, with the balls of meat interspersed in between.
Stick two skewers through each tower and place under the grill or on the barbecue. Drizzle the tomatoes with oil and salt and cook them with the cut side towards the heat. The kebabs need to be turned quite frequently while cooking and will probably take about 20 minutes. They are ready when the meat is browned, and the aubergine blackened on the outside. While the kebabs are cooking, peel the peppers.
Stir some salt into the yoghurt, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with more chilli flakes.
To eat, scrape the soft aubergine flesh out of the burnt skin, and squish it into softened flatbreads along with the lamb, tomatoes, and peppers. Top with a splodge of seasoned yoghurt and get stuck in.
Paired with a glass of Château on a warm evening, this dish signifies the start of spring in the best way possible.
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