Recipes Masala Lamb Kebabs with Tamarind Chutney

Masala Lamb Kebabs with Tamarind Chutney

I have to be honest and say that I was a little hesitant about this one for two reasons…good quality lamb really doesn’t need too strong a favour companion because the meat itself tells its own story on the tongue. And, Garam Masala is traditionally a spice blend that is deeply flavourful, but essentially means “heat”…apparently not the fiery kind, but rather a quietly comforting, growing warmth within the belly. It is also commonly added towards the end of the cooking, which was going to prove tricky with what I originally had in mind for this dish.

But onwards and upwards, and it turns out that the delicate combination of flavours, rounded off by a complex yet delicious spice blend, sticky tart chutney and a sizzling hot griddle pan – and here we have an exotic dish with a hint of magic!

It is said that almost every family in Southern India has its own treasured secret Garam Masala recipe. Typically a blend of highly aromatic and flavoursome spices, the blend is used extensively in Indian cuisine – but it proves versatile and forgiving. The Cape Herb & Spice Garam Masala Curry Seasoning - part of a range of three – is robustly fragrant, inspiring the exotic flavours of India into your kitchen. Therein lies its’ forgiveness, because it’s hard for this sophisticated spice blend not to transport you.

Here goes…

- ALL YOU NEED (makes 4-6 kebabs) -

3 large cloves garlic

Fresh ginger

Splash of water

2 tbsps canola oil

2 medium red onions

2 green chillis, whole

1 tspn tamarind paste

2 small tomatoes, blitzed

1 heaped tbsps Cape Herb & Spice Garam Masala Curry Seasoning

4/ approx. 750g organic lamb leg steaks, cubed

Thick wooden skewer sticks

Coriander, finely chopped

Cape Herb & Spice Pink Himalayan Salt, ground

**For the Tamarind Chutney:

2 heaped tspns tamarind paste

1 flat teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground

70g water

1 tbsps brown sugar

4-6 fresh mint leaves, shredded

Pinch salt

Black pepper, ground

Thread your cubed pieces of lamb, interspersed with red onion chunks, onto wooden skewer sticks dipped in water to aid a smooth 'stab'. Coursely crush your remaining flavour ingredients and paste thickly over the kebabs. Allow to marinade for an hour before griddling in a hot pan - turning frequantly to avoid burning. 

For the tamarind chutney - bring to a slow boil and gently simmer on the stove top for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and decant into a mason jar for safe keeping in the fridge.

Serve your kebabs immediately on a bed of fresh corainder, with your sticky tamarind chutney on the side. 

Recipe concept, styling and photography by: Nancy Hoepner |