Appetizing Twist of Emirates On a Game Night

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It's a funny country we live in, where a sport can conflict the national elections. Since my friends and I can’t go to UAE to watch Mumbai Indians ravage the competition in the first half of the IPL, I am going to make sure UAE comes to us. My next recipe is a simple game night recipe with an innovative twist influenced by the Emirati cuisine. It’s a winner combination of flavours which will make your palate go all HABIBI on you.

Lamb Kebabs with Beetroot Hummus & Pita

Prep Time: 20 mins Cooking time: 10 mins Serves 4-6 persons


For the Lamb Kebabs:

600 gms. of quality lamb shoulder, minced

2 cloves of garlic

8-10 mint leaves

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. crushed black pepper

1 tsp. of ground coriander/ dhania powder

1 tsp. of sweet smoked paprika / red chilly powder

1 tsp. of ground cumin / jeera powder

1 tsp of ground garam masala

1 tablespoon of roasted gram flour / besan

For the beetroot hummus:

200 Gms of chick peas (soaked overnight & boiled)

1 small beetroot (boiled and peeled)

3-4 cloves of garlic

Juice of 1 whole lemon (freshly squeezed)

2 tsp. of tahini (white sesame seed paste)

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

A pinch of salt

6-8 Pita Breads (buy from your local shawarma vendor)

For Garnish: Radish micro greens (available at Godrej Nature’s basket outlets)


We start with marinating the lamb mince for the kebabs. Add the lamb mince in a bowl; finely chop the mint leaves and mix.

Add-in all the other ingredients except the gram flour and gently fold it in the lamb mince ensuring it's mixed well. Once everything has been mixed together thoroughly, add-in the gram flour and fold it in.

Cover & leave this lamb mixture for a couple of hours to rest in the refrigerator. This helps all the spices to provide depth of flavours into the kebabs.

Lightly oil the surface of your palms and divide the lamb mixture into 20 balls. With the help of both the palms slightly press it down thus forming a circular shape of a kebab.

While pressing the kebabs down, make sure they are bigger than the desired shape as the lamb will shrink after cooking.

Place these raw Kebabs in the fridge till you are ready to start cooking.

For the beetroot hummus, add all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz it up till it becomes a coarse thick paste.

Move it in a serving bowl and drizzle a bit with olive oil.

If in case you are not able to add tahini, just take 2 tsp. of white sesame seeds and soak it in warm water for 20 mins before you add it.

Heat a non-stick pan till it’s piping hot and add some oil. Shallow fry the kebabs in batches, about 3 minutes each side and place them on a kitchen paper/tissue to soak of the excess oil.

Toast the pita bread on both sides in a separate pan while the kebabs are almost done. Cut them into bite size pieces and get ready to plate them up.

Place the cut pita bread in a serving plate, place a dollop of beetroot hummus in the centre of the bread and place the kebab on top of this. Garnish it with 3-4 sprigs of radish micro greens and serve it while it's hot.

If you’re not a lamb eater, you can always substitute it with chicken mince. For vegetarians I would suggest you do falafels, which are made from chickpeas too. It's cool if you don’t want to add the micro greens and go all contemporary (unless you are feeling like the sheikh of Dubai), a humble slice of onion with a mint leaf will do the trick. If it’s a nail biting match and you can't afford to plate up, just lay the spread on a table for DIY (do-it-yourself) setup.

Article by Harsh Dixit: Harsh Dixit is a professional chef at one of the popular restaurants in Mumbai, living his childhood dream.

A hospitality management graduate by qualification, he has gained a bagful of experience at the very start of his career. He dares to try different cuisines, ingredients, restaurants and trends in his free time. Watch out for this space as shares his culinary escapades.

four seasons logoFour Seasons Recommends -

Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Shiraz is a fine wine goes well with fine cuisine like lamb kebab. Enjoyed best at 18° - 20° C.

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