These kebabi, Georgian lamb kebabs, make a delicious family meal. Full of herbs and spices they are just as good to eat up the next day if you make a big batch.
I'd heard a lot of good things about Georgian food over the years but didn't actually know much about it. Except that it was good. So, when I received a copy of Supra - A feast of Georgian Cooking by Tiko Tuskadze I was excited to learn more about the cuisine as well as discover some new recipes.
But what are kebabi?
Well, kebabi are just kebabs from Georgia. They are full of herbs, spices, onion and garlic and are absolutely delicious. If you love trying different kebab and meatball variations then you'll love them! They are made with lamb mince which goes brilliantly with herbs and spices and is also lovely served with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
What ingredients do you need for kebabi?
To make these lamb kebabs you'll need:
- Oil - I just use plain vegetable oil but you could use sunflower, light olive oil or rapeseed oil.
- Onions - These are finely diced and fried before being mixed into the mince. They add a mild onion flavour to the kebabs.
- Garlic - You can use fresh crushed garlic or a paste or puree.
- Herbs - I use dried basil and and mint plus fresh coriander, finely diced.
- Spices and seasoning - Use chilli powder, caraway seeds, black pepper and salt.
- Tomato puree - This helps to bind the mixture together as well as adding subtle flavour.
How do you make lamb kebabi?
There is a full recipe card with instructions and quantities further down this post but they are very easy to make. You gently fry the diced onion to soften it before making the lamb kebabs. When it has softened you leave it to cool.
To then make the kebabi you just put everything in a bowl and mix together with your hands before forming into kebab shapes.
Fry the kebabi for a couple of minutes on each side to add some colour and then transfer them to a baking tray and bake them in the oven to cook through.
Can you adapt the recipe?
Yes of course, if you don't have one of the herbs or spices then just miss it out. They won't taste quite the same but they'll still be good.
You can also change the shape of them. Why not make the mixture into burgers or meatballs instead?
What did we think of these Georgian kebabs?
We loved these kebabi and they were just as good heated up the next day. If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know just how much I love a good cook once eat twice recipe and these were perfect for that. Do check out my Cook Once Eat Twice recipe collection for more ideas for meals that are just as good the next day!
What is a Supra in Georgia?
As I said earlier, this recipe is from the book, Supra. In Georgia, a supra is a feast. Georgians love entertaining and a typical supra will involve lots of dishes being brought to the table over the evening.
There'll be salads, breads, cold dishes and hot dishes along with lots of sauces too. Of course there'll be plenty of wine to wash it all down and even a toastmaster, known as a tamada, to entertain the guests and keep the conversation going.
It's the type of food you can imagine being placed in the middle of the table and everyone helping themselves and digging in. I can just imagine a plate of these delicious lamb kebabi being placed down and everyone choosing their own garnishes - red onions, pomegranate seeds and sauces.
These Georgian lamb kebabs would traditionally be served with pomegranate molasses or ajika, a traditional Georgian chilli sauce. I served mine with yogurt and pomegranate molasses. Since making these Georgian lamb kebabs I've discovered just how much I like pomegranate molasses. It's sharp and sweet at the same time and perfect with meats or on salads.
More Recipes from the Cook Book, Supra
As well as the kebabi I also tried the Oraguli Masharapit, which is baked salmon with pomegranate molasses. The fish was marinated with onions and lemon and although the recipe was very simple the pomegranate molasses brought it together and made it taste amazing! I'll definitely be doing it again.
I've got my eye on a few more recipes. There are a lot of recipes for nut-based vegetable pâtés and I plan to try the carrot one soon, although the beetroot, leek and spinach pâtés are also tempting!
I'd also love to try one of the bread recipes as well as the chicken stew with cinnamon (chakokhbili). As always there are too many recipes and not enough time!
Thank you to Pavillion books for allowing me to share the recipe below for the Kebabi.
Kebabi – Georgian Lamb Kebabs
Ingredients for the kebabs
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 2 onions finely diced
- 500 g lamb mince
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- 15 g coriander cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon tomato puree dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- 6 Flatbreads
- 6 teaspoon Pomegranate molasses or chilli sauce
- 3 tablespoon parsley I substituted fresh coriander
- ½ Red onion sliced
- 1 Pomegranate seeds removed
- Preheat the oven to 200℃
- Heat a little oil and fry the onion gently for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Leave to cool.
- Put all the ingredients for the kebabs in a bowl and mix together with your hands. Divide the mixture into 6 equal balls then make each one into a fat sausage shape.
- Heat a little more oil in the frying pan and brown the kebabs on each side then transfer them to a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
- Cook the kebabs in the oven for about 18-20 minutes.
- Serve with all the accompaniments.
More lamb recipes
If you like these Georgian kebabi, try another of my lamb recipes!
You might also like my Afghan potato salad with beef kebabs!
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make these Georgian lamb kebabs. I love to get feedback from readers.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Supra for review purposes however all opinions are my own.