Yogurt-Marinated Lamb Kebabs With Lemon Butter


At Shahpura Bagh, a luxurious guesthouse in the Rajasthani countryside, chefs marinate lamb in yogurt to make it exceptionally tender, then give it an extra burst of tangy flavor with a basting of lemon butter just before serving.

Yogurt-Marinated Lamb Kebabs With Lemon Butter
Coating lamb in whole-milk yogurt gives these Indian kebabs delicious tang. Photo: © Kana Okada
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 to 6


  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 2 pounds trimmed boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure chile powder, such as ancho

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • Six 1-by-2-inch strips of lemon peel

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup of the yogurt with the water. Add the lamb cubes, toss to coat and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Light a grill. Drain the lamb and pat dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup of yogurt with the chile powder, turmeric, garlic, cayenne and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the lamb, toss to coat and let stand for 10 to 20 minutes.

  3. On each of 6 metal skewers, thread a piece of the lemon peel. Thread the lamb cubes onto the skewers and season with salt. In a small bowl, combine the ghee with the lemon juice.

  4. Grill the skewers over moderately high heat, turning, until starting to char all over, about 3 minutes. Continue to grill, turning and basting with the ghee and lemon juice, until medium-rare, about 4 minutes longer. Serve the lamb on or off the skewers.

Serve With

Basmati rice.

Suggested Pairing

These tangy and intensely flavorful lamb kebabs need a bottle of red wine that can stand up to their robust flavor, such as a red from France's Southern Rhône—a classic accompaniment for lamb. The Côtes-du-Rhône is the largest appellation in that region, producing affordable wines.

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