The cuisine of the Emirates is a mix of Indian, Persian and Turkish elements – the result of the journeys Arabian traders undertook between India and the Mediterranean region, often in their famous old dhows. Today, these traditional boats are seldom seen under sail on the high seas; most of them ply the waters with the aid of modern motors, like this particular dhow in the bay of Diba al Hisn (Al Fujairah).
Minced Lamb on a Skewer
According to Al-Hamad («Cardamom and Lime»), the Persians hit upon the idea of pressing minced mean over a skewer and frying it over a fire way back in the 8th century – i.e. 1,000 years before the invention of the meat grinder by Karl Drais in the early 19th century. During his mission in the United Arab Emirates, Maille relished Kabab Laham in the restaurant «Al Maskoof» in Sharja, with flat bread and «Daqous», a spicy tomato sauce.
In the Gulf, the meat used in such preparations is mixed with bread, melted butter and various spices (particularly popular is Worcestershire Sauce). Here, we provide you with a simple and ‹purer› version, which is more oriented towards the Persian archetype (Kabab kubideh).
The skewered lamb is subtly spiced, it has a fine fragrance of saffron and brings out the fine flavour of the meat. A sauce is not really essential – one can serve this kabab with some smooth parsley, fresh onions and an additional bit of Sumach. Although we are here also providing the recipe for Daqous Sauce, which is an excellent accompaniment to every type of grilled meat.
Traditionally for this dish one would use flat skewers looking a bit like a sword. The round wooden skewers are not so suitable for this preparation as there is little surface for the meat to attach to. If you like it richer, after cooking the skewers you can daub the meat with some spiced butter.
More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:
First Publication: 31-12-2009
Modifications: 25-1-2011, 19-6-2011, 14-11-2011, 14-12-2011