Cumin-chile lamb skewers with lemon yoghurt










We ate those gorgeous spiced lamb skewers since they were on the cover of Bon Appétit’s Grilling Issue basically all through summer and haven’t stopped since. Why not, caraway & cumin are as much winter players as summer spices and their warm tones are welcome in cooler weather, just as heat & floral notes are provided by Sichuan, Aleppo and black pepper. Most importantly if you have two hurricanes, ahem babies, playing havoc with longwinded supper plans: they are super easy to prepare and quick to make (if you have your butcher debone and cut the lamb shoulder, of course, which you definitely should) and reward you with an explosion of flavour that revives the taste buds after a long, long day. This shall serve as explanation / excuse for missing photographic evidence since we always wolf them down the minute they leave the grill.

Grinding the spices from whole seeds is an imperative but miraculously, the rather generous measures of earthy, floral notes with a slight kick do not overpower the lamb but complete it and slight charring makes all the difference. I even cut smaller, quite tiny pieces than the original recipe dictates with a few other minor tweaks for maximum seasoned & barbecued meat surface.

This much spice needs a cooling agent and gets it in the garlic and lemon flavoured Greek yoghurt dip which is a match made in heaven. A quick shaved fennel & citrus salad is great company and shall make the dinner prep not a minute longer.


Something about the (temporarily) absent German recipe versions: Ich habe bislang auch eine deutsche Übersetzung der Rezepte geschrieben, mit Zwillingsbabies und ein paar Minuten hier und dort schaffe ich das im Moment nicht mehr. Gerne beantworte ich aber Fragen oder Erklärungen der Rezepte, Techniken und Ingredentien bzw. Bezugsquellen in den Kommentaren oder per mail.


Cumin-chile skewers with lemon yoghurt

Cumin-chile lamb skewers with lemon yoghurt

Adapted from Bon Appétit. The Grilling Issue. June 2016.


2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red chile flakes or 3 peperoncini
salt, pepper
1 small lamb shoulder, deboned, cut into 2cm / 1 inch or smaller pieces

250g / 1 cup Greek yoghurt
½-1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
lemon juice (to taste)
lemon zest (½ teaspoon)
salt, pepper


If you are cooking on a barbecue, water wooden skewers for about 20 minutes. No need for this step if you are indoor-barbecuing on a griddle on the hob.

Grind spices in a pestle & mortar. Season lamb with salt & pepper and ground spices. Thread lamb dice onto wooden skewers and grill on a preheated cast-iron griddle until all sides are done and just beginning to char, ca. 8-12 minutes. Mix Greek yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice & lemon zest to taste and season with salt & pepper. Serve.





8 thoughts on “Cumin-chile lamb skewers with lemon yoghurt

  1. Ha, ha! The vanished food, the non existent photo! Have been there many times before…However, have a very vivid imagination and can really picture these lovely, souvlaki sized morsels covered in aromatic spice mix, dipped in the lemony yoghurt – yum, yum,yum. I totlally agree on the smaller sized meat. Would get the BBQ out immediately but it’s freezing here. Maybe I shall just make some soup and pour it into my thermal underwear?
    Thank you for yeat another great recipe Nicole.
    PS Just you wait when the hurricanes start on proper solids – good luck with trying to photograph anything. Maybe a GoPro attached to their foreheads would be a good solution?

    • Soup into underwear, just spraying water onto my screen. We “grill” those on a cast iron griddle on the hob in winter, much less painful than boiling hot pants. Proper solids, already there. Will is looking at pureed food with a derisive smirk, gives me a pitying tsk ,tsk, tsk and points at my plate (Boeuf bourguignon). Never seen him eating so much as that day together with his sweet potato pieces. From a proper plate with my spoon. Crazy little guy.
      Bread with pâté (and truffles), sea bass, lamb stew – we will be poor! Vegetables only in pieces please, thank you very much. Though his love for avocados is taking a break right now, grrr. Only occasionally evening porridge. Henry loves everything. GoPro, great idea, would this be still in keeping with Dogma 95? N xxx

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