Lamb Boti Kebabs with Mint Chutney

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.

Lamb Boti Kebabs
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
11 hrs 40 mins


Mint Chutney

  • 3 cups roughly chopped fresh mint (about 3 ½ ounces, or 2 large bunches)

  • ½ cup roughly chopped red onion (from 1 small [7-ounce] onion)

  • ¼ cup water, plus more as needed

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped (seeded, if desired) fresh Indian or Thai green chiles (from 4 medium [about 1/2 ounce total] chiles

  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 6 cups roughly chopped fresh cilantro (7 ounces, or 5 medium bunches), divided

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  • 1 5-pound boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) malt vinegar

  • ¼ cup ginger-garlic paste (from 1 [7-ounce] jar)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoon fresh papaya paste

  • 6 tablespoon mustard oil, divided

  • ¼ cup Kashmiri red chile powder (such as Deggi Mirch)

  • 1 ½ tablespoons garam masala

  • 1 tablespoon shahi jeera

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 cups plain whole-milk strained yogurt (such as Greek-style yogurt)

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) salted butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons chaat masala


Prepare the Mint Chutney:

  1. 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:

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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