A dish that exists in many ethnic cuisines, including Asia, Middleast, and Mediterranea. They are called differently: люля кебаб, kofta, etc., but contain lamb as the main ingredient and and a mix of spices and herbs, specific for each of the areas.
This particular recipe is typical for Azerbaijan. The preparation is a rather time-consuming (as all wonderful ethnic foods), but the result will be well worth the effort. I was told that in Uzbekistan this dish is prepared from scratch using lamb chunks, minced with meat axes, prepared exclusively by men, and if you ever make this you’ll know: it requires some serious muscle work. The recipe doesn’t include egg to bind the ingredients. Through an intensive and time-consuming mixing of the minced meat, it develops homogeneous consistency and binds so well that that the meat will not fall off the skewer.
1kg lamb meat, minced
200 lamb fat, minced
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of spice seeds each, ground: coriander, cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Start mixing. My Bulgarian friend told me they make kofta by picking up the meat and throwing it back in a bowl till it starts binding. In my case I mixed non-stop for about 15 minutes. You will notice how the consistency of meat changes.
2. Place the mix in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Divide the meat into 100g pieces. Start with applying a mix to a skewer by holding a skewer with your left hand and giving it a 180-degree turn every now and molding the meat into a long and lean shape about 2cm in diameter with your right hand. The meat should stick to the skewer. Pinch both ends of the ready product to prevent juices from running.
4. Grill and serve sliced with lettuce, yogurt-lemon sauce and pita bread.