Spicy Lamb Kebabs in Pita Pockets

I’m a sucker for a great kebab. While in my 20s, a kebab was often the go-to after a big night out, now I make them as an easy go-to for when I’ve got a crowd, or – as often happens – the kids need something they can eat on the go in the car!

These spicy lamb kebabs are deliciously moreish, but unlike many of the kebabs from my younger days, they are also healthy and nutritious. Ashia Ismail-Singer, author of My Indian Kitchen, has come up with a perfect freezer-friendly recipe that works well at a summer gathering, so guests can help themselves and make their own pita pockets.

Spicy lamb kebabs in pita pockets with crunchy salad & yoghurt dip

Prep time 20 mins, cooking time 30 mins. Serves 4–6

For the kebabs

  • 1kg minced lamb
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • 1–1½ tsp green chilli & coriander paste (page 13)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for frying


For the Yoghurt Dip

  • 200–300g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • handful chopped fresh coriander

lettuce leaves, pita pockets and sweet chilli sauce, to serve


Mix the lamb mince with all the other ingredients. The egg will bind it together, however, if the mixture is a little too wet, add some breadcrumbs. (For checking the seasoning, take a small amount of mixture and fry in a pan until cooked and try it, before you form all the shapes.)

Divide the mince into approximately 20 even-sized balls, then mould them into long sausage shapes. A great trick my mum taught me, which also make the kebabs cook through well, is to use a wooden spoon, moulding each ball around the handle, so each is about 8–10cm long (they will shrink when cooked), then gently slide it off the handle and place on a tray. The number of kebabs will depend on how you have allocated the lamb mixture.

When you are ready to cook, add olive oil to a frying pan or griddle pan (if you are using a stovetop griddle pan you will not need much oil) and cook on a low–medium heat until cooked through. You can also cook them in the oven (220°C for about 10–12 min) or barbecue them.

For the pita pockets, preheat oven to 200°C. Place 3 pitas in tin foil and wrap up tightly. Heat for 5–8 min, then set aside covered in tinfoil to keep warm.

For the dip, place the yoghurt in a bowl and add chopped mint and coriander. Stir to combine.

Fill the pita with the lettuce and kebabs, then spoon the yoghurt and sweet chilli sauce over the top.

Recipe extracted from My Indian Kitchen: Delicious recipes for New Zealand cooks, Potton & Burton, RRP $49.99