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Spicy lamb kabobs with vegetable skewers - cooked

Spicy Lamb Kabobs Skillet-Seared With Mixed Vegetable Skewers

Keyword African Bird's Eye Pepper, Habanero Pepper, Peri-Peri Pepper
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Lamb marinating time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 735kcal


  • Skillet (12-inch skillet to handle 10-inch bamboo skewers)
  • 16 bamboo skewers / kabob sticks (10-inch long skewers)


The lamb and its marinade

  • 2 pounds boneless lamb leg steaks about an inch thick, cut into inch-square cubes
  • 4 peri-peri peppers finely chopped, seeds and all
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and very finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil Separated, two for the marinade and two for cooking

For the vegetables for the kabobs

  • 8 habanero peppers cut into inch-long chunks, a mix of red and green looks great
  • 3 bell peppers one red, one green, one yellow. Deseeded and cut into roughly inch squares
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion peeled and cut into sort of one-inch squares.
  • 16 garlic cloves unpeeled

For the vegetable basting sauce

  • 3 1/2 ounces salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce choose your favorite

The flat breads

  • 8 loaves fresh oblong breads about 12 inches long, 4 inches wide and ¼ inch thick. Ones with a slightly oily finish are ideal. (Pita breads are also fine. Served warm with maybe a good brushing of garlicky melted butter)


Prepping the lamb

  • Put the cubed lamb into a bowl and add the peri-peri chili and garlic. Mix well – really well – and leave in the fridge overnight.
  • About an hour before you want to eat, add the rest of the marinade ingredients to the lamb, except the olive oil. Mix thoroughly. The oil goes in later so that it doesn’t create a barrier between the lamb and the marinade. Leave the bowl out of the fridge so it can start coming up to room-ish temperature.
  • While the lamb is sitting in the marinade, you can start on the vegetable kabobs and the sauce.

Prepping the vegetable skewers and their basting sauce

  • Start each of the eight vegetable kabobs with a chunk of red onion. You’ll also finish each one with a similar chunk. The onion at either end helps hold the other veg in place on its skewer. Now load the skewer about 3/4 full with a snugly-fitted, alternating row of the remaining vegetables. Something like this. Onion first, then cherry tomato, bell pepper, garlic clove, habanero, tomato, bell pepper, garlic, habanero – finishing with the onion.
  • Now load the skewer about 3/4 full with a snugly-fitted, alternating row of the remaining vegetables. Something like this. Onion first, then cherry tomato, bell pepper, garlic clove, habanero, tomato, bell pepper, garlic, habanero – finishing with the onion. Both the cherry tomato and whole garlic cloves are best skewered length ways – seems to stop them splitting apart.
  • For the basting sauce, simply put all the ingredients in a small ceramic bowl and microwave until the butter melts. Then give it a good stir. Time to get back to the lamb.

Cooking the lamb kabobs

  • First, add two tablespoons olive oil to the marinating lamb and mix thoroughly. Now thread cubes of lamb onto the skewers. Do this in such a way that the lamb’s neatly and tightly compressed on each skewer. You want to end up with each skewer having four pretty obvious sides along its length of lamb cubes. On a 10-inch skewer, you want eight inches of lamb cubes.
  • Put a big skillet onto high heat and add two level tablespoons of olive oil. As it heats, put a serving dish into a very low oven – just hot enough to warm the dish so that you can happily hold it. The lamb’s going to rest there a bit once it’s done and while you cook the vegetable kabobs.
  • Once the oil starts smoking, add the first four lamb kabobs. Keep the heat on high and after 90 seconds turn the kabobs onto the next of their four ‘sides’ for the same, searing treatment - six minutes in total. Take the skillet off the heat and put the kabobs onto your serving dish in that very low oven.
  • Repeat the process for the next four kabobs, perhaps first adding a little more olive oil to the skillet.

Cooking the vegetable kabobs

  • With the skillet set over a medium-high heat, add the first four kabobs. Using a teaspoon, baste them evenly with half of the sauce. They’re going to cook for about two minutes like this before you turn them and baste again with the remaining sauce. Cook for another two minutes, take the skillet off the heat and cover it. The kabobs will continue to cook in their own steam under the lid – but won’t char much more on their outsides.
  • After two minutes, transfer them to the warming dish in the oven and turn the oven off.

Heating the flatbreads

  • With the skillet over a medium high heat, add two flat breads. Turn them after two minutes and let them go for another two minutes. Done. Get them onto the dish in the oven and repeat the heating process for the remaining breads.


If no peri-peri pepper, feel free to use a chili of your choice that’s available (jalapeño, serrano, etc)
Habaneros are used in the vegetable kabobs and these are extra spicy chilies. Feel free to substitute in peppers of lesser heat. A mix of red and green jalapeños works well. 
I’d serve this with a generous bowl of thick Greek yoghurt with a hefty squeeze of lemon stirred into it.
And to drink? A peppery Shiraz / Syrah or a chilled, big wooded Chardonnay.


Calories: 735kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 993mg | Potassium: 1401mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4378IU | Vitamin C: 260mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 7mg