For these kebabs from chef Chintan Pandya of New York City's Dhamaka and Semma restaurants, naturally sweet, juicy lamb is coated in a spicy, aromatic, warm yogurt marinade. The yogurt tenderizes the meat as it marinates, then forms a delicious crust as it roasts in the oven. Basting the meat with melted butter adds a nice richness, making these kebabs juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. The mint chutney served alongside adds a brightness to each bite that balances the rich, flavorful meat.


Credit: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Dale / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary

50 mins
11 hrs 40 mins


Mint Chutney


Prepare the Mint Chutney:
  • Place mint, onion, 1/4 cup water, chiles, ginger, and half of the cilantro in a blender. Process, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides and adding additional water 1 tablespoonful at a time (up to 1/3 cup) as needed to loosen mixture, until a smooth paste forms, about 2 minutes. Add remaining cilantro; process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the Kebabs:
  • Place lamb, vinegar, ginger-garlic paste, salt, and papaya paste in a large bowl; stir to fully coat lamb. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over low until lukewarm, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in red chili powder, garam masala, shahi jeera, and turmeric. Add yogurt, and stir until fully combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Remove lamb from vinegar mixture, and discard vinegar mixture; transfer lamb to yogurt mixture in bowl; toss to fully coat lamb. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Thread lamb evenly onto ­­20 (8-inch) skewers (6 to 7 pieces per skewer). Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over foil. Place lamb skewers on baking sheet; drizzle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Bake in preheated oven, removing from oven to turn skewers every 3 to 4 minutes, until yogurt starts to firm or form a crust, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Drizzle some of the melted butter over each skewer, and continue baking, turning skewers and basting with butter every 3 minutes, until browned and cooked to medium-rare (a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat registers 125°F), 7 to 8 minutes, or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven. Transfer skewers to a large platter. Sprinkle evenly with chaat masala, and serve with Mint Chutney.