Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lamb kabobs with tzatziki over rice

The local Pathmark recently expanded its kosher section and while perusing the shelves yesterday I picked up a pound of ground lamb.

I thought about lamb burgers, but felt like I was in a Middle Eastern mood tonight. The final product: Lamb kabobs with pareve tzatziki sauce over brown basmati rice.

Here's what I did.

First, prepare brown basmati rice according to directions on the package. I used a rice cooker, which is pretty simple: Just put in a cup of rice, add 3 cups of water per 1 cup of rice, and set it. Some people like to use a stove top, it's your choice.

Lamb kabobs

1 lb ground lamb
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp red pepper schug (a spicy Yeminite hot pepper mixture widely used in Israel)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp za'atar
1 tsp mint
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup matzah meal
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a small grill (George Foreman or other approved indoor grill, I used a Japanese model from the local Asian market). Measure out dry ingredients into a large bowl and add the schug. Since the lamb is kosher, it's already been salted so go easy on the salt, two or three light shakes of kosher salt should be all you need. Add pepper to your liking. Lightly mix together. Add the lamb, egg, and matzah meal and mix together with your hands. Cup your hands together under a faucet to collect a small amount of water and add to the meat mixture to keep it moist. Mix until all the spices have been worked into the meat and the liquids have been absorbed. The meat should take on a slight orange color (from the turmeric).

Spray your grill with cooking spray. Break off a small portion of the meat and roll it into the shape of a cigar, about 3 inches in length. Place the kabobs on the grill for about 7 minutes (depending whether your grill has adjustable heat settings, set it to medium if it does). Flip the kabobs over and cook another 7 minutes on the other side. Cut into one in the middle to check its doneness and continue grilling if you prefer the meat more well done.

Makes 12 kabobs.


½ cup of Tofutti Sour Supreme (pareve sour cream)
2 inches of English cucumber, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp onion powder
Juice of 1 lemon
Pepper to taste

Mix cucumber and dry ingredients into the sour cream. Stir in the lemon juice until the sauce is the desired thickness, usually a whole lemon thins it out and adds enough citrus to give it a nice bite. together. Add more sour cream to increase quantity.


When all components are done, scoop the rice onto a plate and place kabobs on top. Drizzle the tzatziki over them and enjoy!


  1. could they also be made in an oven, under the broiler?

    what is za'atar? and where does one get these ingredients?

    which Pathmark? one of the local ones closed.

    1. Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend available in many supermarkets or kosher stores.
      It also goes great sprinkled on grilled pita with some olive oil drizzled on top.

      It could also be done in the oven, but I like the grill marks. I haven't tried it in the oven, so I can't speak to how long it would take.

      This was the Pathmark in Bergenfield, N.J.