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Vikram Vij's lamb kebabs with spring saladLaura Leyshon for The Globe and Mail

Kebabs, normally grilled or pan fried, are called by different names all over the world. Whether served as street food, as an appetizer followed by a saucy curry, or wrapped in a chapati with a pickled salad on the side, every culture and cuisine has its own style of preparing the marinated meat.

I really enjoy serving them at parties−everybody loves a kebab while enjoying a drink and good conversation.

This recipe offers a simple way to introduce some heat to your meal, without being overly spicy. Kids love the flavour and the fact that this kebab is served on a skewer − they can hold the stick and eat it just like a corn dog.

Chef Vikram Vij is the owner of Vij's in Vancouver.

Servings: 14 to 16 small kebabs

Ready Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Wine Pairings: A red with a ripe, fruity core works best, creating a soft pillow for those spices and providing a counterpoint to the gaminess of the meat. Consider a grenache-based wine from the southern Rhône Valley, an Argentine malbec or a California zinfandel (the red, not the pink, stuff). - Beppi Crosariol


1 pound lean ground lamb

½ teaspoon hot pepper, crushed

¾ teaspoon ginger, crushed

¾ teaspoon garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped

¼ teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons gram flour

1 medium onion, finely grated


3 carrots, peeled and cut matchstick style

1 daikon, peeled and cut matchstick style

2 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all the kebab ingredients together and knead until the spices have been evenly incorporated into the mixture.

Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape them around skewers into sausage-like shapes. Barbecue 10 to 12 minutes on medium-high heat.

Mix the salad ingredients together let rest for an hour or so in the fridge, until the acidity from the lemon juice has softened the salad slightly. Serve alongside the kebabs.

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