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Cumin Lamb Kebabs with Fresh Mango Chutney

slideshow More Amazing Lamb Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • Cardamom seeds from 2 pods (scant 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 dried red chile, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large mango, peeled, fruit cut off the pit
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing


  1. In a small skillet, combine the cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and chile and toast over moderate heat for 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool. Grind to a powder and transfer to a large bowl. Finely grind the cashews. In the bowl, mix the spices with the cashews, wine, mace, 1 cup of the yogurt and the juice of 1 lemon. Season with salt. Stir in the lamb and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Cut half of the mango into 1/3-inch dice and coarsely chop the rest. In a food processor, coarsely puree the cilantro, mint, shallot, garlic and coarsely chopped mango with the remaining yogurt and lemon juice. Transfer the chutney to a bowl. Stir in the diced mango and season with salt.
  3. Light a grill. Thread the lamb onto eight 8-inch skewers. Brush with oil and grill over a hot fire until medium rare, about 3 minutes per side. Serve at once with the mango chutney.

Suggested Pairing

Grilled lamb is always paired with a dry red, right? Not necessarily. Because sweet–and–sour chutney won't do any favors for most reds, the best match for this dish is a dry, fruity white. A lush white like a Pinot Gris from Oregon or California has the body and flavor to balance the chutney's intense flavors.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published May 2003

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