RECIPE

Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade (kebab-e torsh)

This sweet-and-sour kebab is from Gilan Province in northern Iran, where people like their food extra tart. The russet-colored marinade uses the same ingredients as Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew, page 109), and is one of the tastiest discoveries I made while researching this book. Before grilling the kebabs, brush off the extra marinade, because it can burn and leave charred flakes on the meat. You can also make these kebabs using beef sirloin, fish, chicken, or vegetables. Start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it so that the kebabs can marinate overn

Wonderfully fresh and delightful recipes are found in Louisa Shafia’s latest cookbook, The New Persian Kitchen. Beautiful colors, intense flavors and nutritious ingredients are found in all the dishes.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lamb tenderloin or boneless shank or neck, cut into 11/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, loosely packed, plus extra, chopped, for garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Place the meat in a large casserole dish. In a food processor, grind the walnuts, pomegranate molasses, garlic, and grapeseed oil into a puree. Add the parsley and pulse into small bits. Pour the marinade over the meat and toss well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in salty water for a couple of hours before grilling. Thread three or four pieces of meat onto each skewer 1/4-inch apart, leaving 2 inches of space at the end.

Discard the marinade. Brush or wipe extra marinade from the skewers. Leave the meat out while you heat the grill so it can come up to room temperature (no more than 45 minutes total).

Prepare a hot grill.

Lightly oil the grill and grill the kebabs for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally. When done, the meat should be slightly charred on the outside and very pink on the inside. Transfer to a serving platter and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley 
and serve.


Vegetarian Option:

Replace the lamb with 2 pounds tempeh, cubed; 2 pounds vegetables, such as zucchini, red onions, and mushrooms, cubed; or a combination of tempeh and vegetables. Marinate overnight according to the recipe.

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