Taste of the Kasbah: Moroccan Lamb Kabobs

It’s a rest day, and you know what that means: there’s no workout to discuss, so let’s talk food!

Yay, food!

I’m taking y’all to north Africa, so you might want play this while you read:

(Yes, I know Ofra Haza, a.k.a.”Madonna of the East” was from Israel, not Morocco. Just enjoy the song and stop being so persnickety.)

According to my book Cooking at the Kasbah, these kabobs are called Al Kotban Mrakchiya in arabic. I’m just going to call them delicious. Juicy chunks of grilled lamb in a tangy, spicy marinade… I served them with a side of fresh grean beans tossed with olive oil and crushed garlic, and a side salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Everything was fresh, colorful, and tasted like sunny places.

Marinade for Shish Kabobs Marrakesh Style
Makes enough for up to 3 lbs. of lamb

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 onion, grated
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Mix all the ingredients until well-blended.

2. Place lamb in the marinade and refrigerate minimum two hours or overnight.

3. When you’re ready to grill, thread the meat on skewers and grill over high heat for approximately 12 minutes, turning the kabobs every 4 minutes.

Not a fan of lamb? You can also use beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp… or all of them! Just keep an eye on the clock: chicken and shrimp should only marinate for two hours, but beef and lamb can chillax in the fridge overnight.

I like you! So, please… THROW OUT THE MARINADE when you’re done. Don’t eat the marinade-minus-the-meat; it will hurt you. If you want something yummy in which to dip your grilled meat, either a) save some marinade separately with NO RAW PROTEIN in it, or b) make this deliciousness (scroll down to Moroccan dipping sauce).

While enjoying all of the above, you can pretend you’re eating here, waiting for a rendezvous with someone mysterious and exotic…

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6 Responses to “Taste of the Kasbah: Moroccan Lamb Kabobs”

  1. kelly alice says:

    hi melicious, love your blog! just curious what kind of lamb cut you used.

    btw, we made your best chicken ever and your fish with tahini/almond sauce… both were amazing!!!!!!

    you go girl!

  2. Melicious says:

    Hello! I got lamb already cut into cubes from the butcher at Central Market (which is kind of like Whole Foods). Leg of lamb and shoulder would both work well.

    Glad you liked the chicken and fish recipes. I've been eating that fish all week, and I can't get enough of it. Yesterday, I needed more fats, so I mixed 1 teaspoon of olive oil with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and drizzled that over the hot fish. HEAVEN!

  3. Chris says:

    Hi Melicious, our Crossfit affiliate leader posted a link to your blog, and I've been loving your recipes. I was particularly interested in this one, as I have been trying to replicate the flavor of the lamb kabobs a local Iranian place makes, and I've never had much success. I tried your recipe as-is, and it was definitely close. I made some changes to more closely mirror my local place, so I thought I would post them here in case you were interested.

    The main difference is that mine are much more "tangy" with a flavor that usually comes from extended marination with sour yoghurt. I don't do dairy much, so I modified for lemon juice. I also omitted the garlic, but only because I forgot to put it in. Personally, I prefer using onion juice instead of whole grated onion, I find it gives me the onion flavor without the onion indigestion. :-) Oh, and I had to add salt. It's not strict paleo, but it really brings the flavor to life. Obviously omit if necessary.

    Juice of 2 large lemons (approx 1/4 cup)
    Juice of 1/2 an onion (blend to paste or pound with mallet then squeeze in cheesecloth)
    Hearty handful of cilantro, blended up in food processor (about 1 cup loose, blends down to around 2 tablespoons)
    Hearty handful of parsley, blended up in food processor, same as cilantro.
    1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
    1 Tablespoon Turmeric
    1 Teaspoon Cumin powder
    1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea salt.

    Blend in food processor or blender, and add olive oil until it is a smooth liquid. This took me about 1/8th of a cup. You just want the oil in there to help homogenize the ingredients.

    Mix your meat cubes in the marinade (I used cheap pork shoulder, my store was out of lamb) and refrigerate for 24 hours.

    I put mine on skewers alternated with slices of oiled onion. Green bell pepper is traditional, as well.

    I grilled them over mesquite charcoal, and they turned out fantastic.

    Thanks for posting these recipes!

  4. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Chris! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe — how fun! We're like a koffee klatch, sittin' around, swappin' recipes. LOVE IT! Can't wait to try this!

  5. shannon says:

    Hey Mel

    Made this dish for my honey for Valentines tonite.
    SOOO good HOLY S%*T!!!! That kind of good!!!


  6. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Shannon –> I'm so glad to have helped supply the fuel for your romance ;-) Happy Valentine's Day!

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