Cherry and Lamb Skewers on the Grill

Kafta bi'l-karaz (Syria) (2) Around the now sad and destroyed Aleppo in Syria is a dish fondly remade as best they can by Aleppines in exile and Syrians in general that will remind them of the good times once had.  In fact, I first had kafta bi’l-karaz, grilled ground lamb and cherries on skewers, in Syria some 25 years ago.  It’s actually quite easy to do anywhere.

It’s a famous preparation from Aleppo, this kebab of ground lamb with cherry.  A special kind of cherry found around Aleppo is used, the St. Lucie’s cherry (Prunus mahaleb L.), which is a small, bitter, crimson-colored black cherry.  Although you can use canned cherries, it is right now the season for fresh cherries so I highly recommend you pit them and grill them fresh. This recipe is a version in which the lamb meat is ground first as a kafta while most traditionally it would call for cubes of lamb.

1 pound ground lamb

2 teaspoons bahārāt

½ teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds

½ teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ten 8- to 10-inch wooden skewers

50 pitted fresh cherries

  1. In a bowl, knead together the lamb, bahārāt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, using wet hands to keep the meat from sticking. Transfer to a food processor and process until the meat is smooth and pasty. Form into balls the size of a large olive and skewer them interspersed with pitted cherries, using 5 balls of meat and about 4 or 5 cherries per skewer.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high. Place the skewers on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the meat is browned and springy to the touch, about 10 minutes.  Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

Kafta bi'l-Karaz - Grilled Lamb and Cherry Skewers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Printable recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Grill
Cuisine: Syrian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons bahārāt (see above)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Ten 8- to 10-inch wooden skewers
  • 50 pitted fresh cherries
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, knead together the lamb, bahārāt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, using wet hands to keep the meat from sticking. Transfer to a food processor and process until the meat is smooth and pasty. Form into balls the size of a large olive and skewer them interspersed with pitted cherries, using 5 balls of meat and about 4 or 5 cherries per skewer. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high. Place the skewers on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the meat is browned and springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

 

Speak Your Mind

*

Rate this recipe:  

Site maintained by StudioSJS