Lamb Kebabs with Yogurt-Cilantro Sauce

kebabs lamb yogurt mint sauce
Photo: Bobbi Lin
4 skewers

Finely ground lamb is pressed flat onto skewers, grilled, and served with a tangy, herb-packed yogurt sauce in Martha's version of the Saudi Arabian dish mabshur.


For the Kebabs

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill and sauce

  • 1 small onion, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • cup whole milk

  • 4 slices white bread, crusts removed, and torn into ¼-inch pieces (¾ cup)

  • 1 ½ pounds ground lamb

  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus ½ cup finely chopped for sauce

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro or mint leaves, finely chopped

  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 1/2 lemon

  • Kosher salt

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Make the kebabs: In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until very soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.

  2. In a small bowl, pour milk over bread and let soak 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine lamb, feta, cilantro, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, egg, cooked onion mixture, and bread mixture. Use your hands to mix gently until combined (do not overmix). Refrigerate until chilled.

  3. Divide meat mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each portion around a 3/4-inch-wide flat metal skewer, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at each end. Transfer kebabs to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled or up to overnight.

  4. Preheat grill for direct-heat cooking (or a grill pan over medium-high). Brush grates with oil. Grill kebabs, turning as needed, until cooked through and charred in spots, and a thermometer inserted into the center reaches 140 degrees (medium-rare), 6 to 8 minutes.

  5. Make the sauce: Combine yogurt, cilantro, and lemon zest and juice in a small bowl. Season with salt; drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with cayenne before serving.

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