Turkish Lamb & Eggplant Kebabs

Turkish Lamb & Eggplant Kebabs

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2011

Here we combine baharat, a traditional Arabic spice blend, with olive oil, lemon, garlic and tomato paste to make it into a savory rub to flavor lamb-and-vegetable kebabs.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • Baharat (Turkish Spice Paste) & Lamb
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • Kebabs
  • 4 Japanese or other small eggplant (about 1¼ pounds), cut into ½-inch rounds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium red onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare spice paste & marinate lamb: Combine 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, paprika, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne to taste, cinnamon and allspice in a medium bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside. Add lamb to the remaining spice paste and stir until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  2. To prepare kebabs: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat or prepare a medium-high-heat fire in a charcoal grill.
  3. Lay eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with ½ teaspoon salt. Let stand for about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, thread the lamb and onion alternately onto skewers.
  5. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Thread horizontally onto skewers (through the skin) so the eggplant will lie flat on the grill. Stir ¼ cup oil into the reserved spice paste in the small bowl; brush the mixture all over the eggplant.
  6. Place the lamb kebabs in the center, hotter part of the grill. Place the eggplant kebabs around the outside, cooler part of the grill. (Grill the kebabs in two batches if necessary.) Grill the lamb, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until the meat is nicely browned on the outside, but still a little pink in the center, 10 to 12 minutes total. Grill the eggplant, turning once or twice, until soft and browned on both sides, 9 to 11 minutes total. Remove to a clean large serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Marinate lamb (Step 1) for up to 1 day.
  • Equipment: 10 to 12 (12-inch) skewers
  • Note: Paprika labeled “Hungarian” is worth seeking out for this recipe because it delivers a fuller, richer flavor than regular paprika. Find it at well-stocked supermarkets, specialty-foods stores or online at penzeys.com.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 250 calories; 16 g fat(3 g sat); 2 g fiber; 10 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 30 mcg folate; 51 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 524 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C; 28 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 494 mg sodium; 353 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1½ vegetable, 2½ lean meat, 2 fat

Reviews 2

February 18, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
i did this dish a little different than suggested; i used the marinade as specified and loved the flavors! i skewered the kebabs with green peppers and onion, then brushed the eggplant rounds with oil and grilled. i stacked them with fresh tomato & mozzarella rounds, topped with balsamic vinegrette, and served with basmati rice & sauteed mushrooms, onions & peppers. turned out great!
August 28, 2011
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By: rowboat.emj
disappointing! I followed the recipe (really!) and the eggplant was dry and tasteless and a horrible texture. I've been an EW subscriber for years, we give it as Xmas presents, this is the first really bad recipe we've done! I've now added tomatoes, vegetable broth, and am turning the eggplants into a eggplant stew! So sad! Pros: great spice mix Cons: the eggplants were dry and tasteless
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