Smokey kafta kebab

Smokey kafta kebab


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About this recipe: These quick but delicious smoke flavoured Lebanese chicken mince kebabs are always a dinner favourite! You can skewer them and cook them on a BBQ or even pan fry and smoke with coal for BBQ flavour in your own kitchen! Serve with pitta and baba ganoush and hummus. Makes 6 to 9 kebabs

Serves: 4 

  • 500g chicken mince
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 whole green chilies (or to taste)
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 to 5 large pieces of ordinary BBQ coals for smoking

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:30min resting  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

  1. Season the mince with the salt and pepper, mixing well. Add the paprika, cinnamon and chilli powder. Make sure to distribute all spices evenly. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
  2. Place the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, onion, green chilli and coriander in a food processor and blitz to a fine paste. Add the paste to the mince and knead well using your hands. The mince should be slightly greenish in colour. Refrigerate for half hour minimum (you can prepare the mince overnight, just do not add the oil and lemon juice until you are ready to prepare them).
  3. Now you are ready to shape the kebabs. Take a small handful of the mince and roll into a ball then place onto a dry kitchen surface and roll gently to make an oblong shape as shown in the picture.
  4. Once all kebabs are shaped, heat some oil in a flat frying pan over a high heat. Place the kebabs in the pan and give about 30 to 60 seconds on each side to seal the surface. Wrap the half-cooked kebabs in foil while you prepare the coal for the smoker.
  5. For the smoking you can use a coal pot or make your own at home: Fire up your coals to the amber glowing stage. In a large deep pot, place a metal colander in the bottom and carefully place hot coals around it in the bottom of the pot. Place the kebabs wrapped in the foil leaving the top of the foil open to allow the smoke to penetrate. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to smoke for about 15 to 20 minutes (you can keep them up to half an hour the kebabs will still be warm).
  6. Alternatively, cook the kebabs on an outdoor barbecue for 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat.


Do not open the pot during the smoking process.
You may want to use the basic coals rather than the non-smoking ones as those won't release much of a flavour just some heat. If you feel like your coal is not releasing any smoke at all you may want to spray a few drops of water on the coal and then cover the pot instantly.

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