Greek Souvlakia
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Greek Souvlakia

Difficulty Level

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz groundnut oil, olive oil will do
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • salt
  • 350g/12 oz lamb, cut into 2.5 cm/1 in cubes
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 4 tbsp natural plain yoghurt
  • 4 pita breads
  • a handful of iceberg lettuce
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

For 2. Put the garlic, onion and oil in a blender and turn them into slush. If you don't have a blender you'll have to grate the onion and crush the garlic, and then pound the lot up in a pestle & mortar. Decant to a bowl. Mix in the spices, and about a 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in the lamb, and marinade for as long as you can. 20-30 mins will give you some flavour, but an hour or two is much better. Heat a ridged pan to very hot. You could also use the grill(broiler) or a BBQ. Shake off the marinade and cook until slightly charred outside and pink within - 2 mins per side in a hot pan, perhaps 4 per side over charcoal. Sprinkle with salt. Warm the pitas under the grill (broiler), in the oven or in the microwave, while the lamb cooks. Stir half the mint into the yoghurt in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Split the pitas to make them into a pocket, stuff in the lettuce and the lamb. Top with the yoghurt and the leftover mint and sprinkle the cayenne over the top. Variations: Try chicken or beef steak instead of lamb. If you like your beef rare, it's probably best to marinade the steaks whole, and cut them after cooking. Try fresh coriander as well as, or instead of, mint. For the yoghurt sauce, traditional English Mint sauce instead of fresh mint will give you a much sharper taste - more like a kebab shop style, I think. Add turmeric and lemon juice for a more Indian kind of dip. If you like a bit more vegetables in your kebab, sear some sliced sliced onions or bell peppers along with the meat.

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