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Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers

Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers

[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you a new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 to 6
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:2 hours 30 minutes
Special equipment:Spice Grinder, Grill
This recipe appears in: How to Make Great Grilled Kebabs Grilling: Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers


  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, trimmed of excess fat and gristle
  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use
  • Type of fire: Direct
  • Grill heat: medium-high


  1. 1

    Place cumin seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 tablespoons of the toasted cumin seeds to a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.

  2. 2

    Transfer ground cumin to a small bowl and whisk in remaining cumin seeds, oil, soy sauce, sherry, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. 3

    Place lamb in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in marinade, seal, and toss to thoroughly coat lamb. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours to overnight.

  4. 4

    Thread lamb onto skewers.

  5. 5

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill skewers until browned on all sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.


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