Monday, May 23, 2011

Grilled Lamb Kebabs and Chana Masala

Chuck and I do not have a go-to Indian restaurant in the area, so we've grown accustomed to cooking our own at home (surprise, surprise). One of our favorite meals is grilled lamb kebabs with chana masala. We buy pre-cut lamb kebabs from Garden Path Farms our favorite vendors at the FRESHFARM market behind the White House, whose arrival after a winter recess is just in time for the beginning of grilling season. If you are tired of grilling the old standards like hotdogs and hamburgers, we highly recommend these non-traditional lamb kebabs marinated in a mix of Indian spices, served with a side of chana masala. For a weekend barbeque to remember checkout the recipe after the jump.

Disclaimer: These recipes require many spices, but if you like Indian food and want to have an impressive pantry, they are definitely worth the investment. I've made both recipes a handful of times and still have plenty of spices left for this summer.

Serve kebabs and chana masala with basmati or long grain rice (just follow the directions provided on the box) and naan (we like Whole Foods' Original Tandoori Naan).

Grilled Lamb Kebabs
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 pounds lamb kebabs
4 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 1 hour

1. Mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Put lamb kebabs in a ziploc bag/container and pour spice mixture over kebabs. Mix well and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Marinating Lamb Kebabs
2. Thread lamb on skewers (if using wood skewers, make sure you soak them for at least an hour ahead of time). Grill kebabs, turning occasionally for approximately 7-9 minutes. Your meat thermometer should read 130-135 degrees F for medium-rare.

Chana Masala
Recipe from where it was adapted from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon amchoor powder (or juice of 1 lemon - we always use a lemon)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
2/3 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)


1. Gather all spices and prepare vegetables (minced, grated, etc.). This will make the cooking process much easier since this dish requires a number of ingredients.

2. Grab your largest skillet and heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, ginger, and pepper until onions are translucent and slightly browned.

3. Add all spices (coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, amchoor powder (or juice of 1 lemon), paprika, and garam masala) to the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until well combined.

4. Add to tomatoes to pan and mix well.

5. Add chickpeas and water, and simmer uncovered for approximately 15 minutes. Stir in salt and lemon juice. Allow chickpeas to simmer for as long as you'd like. Unless you are hosting a party, you'll have plenty of leftovers and chana masala is one of those dishes that really reheats well.


  1. Approximately how long would let the chickpea simmers until they are soft?

    1. If they come from a can then they're pretty soft already.

  2. Yeah but Ravi's pretty much melt in your mouth