Wednesday, 3 August 2011


I should just re-name my blog ‘What to do with a pack of lamb mince’, probably far more representative at the moment.  I do believe it is an extremely useful thing to have in the freezer and being of limited means....

Anyway, I have mentioned before Sally Butcher and her shop Persepolis on Peckham High Street for all things Persian – I am also the proud owner of a signed copy of her cookbook ‘Persian in Peckham’.  These kebabs are a slight variation of her recipe for Chelo kebabs …I add a couple of teaspoons of ras-el-hanout and a bit more baking powder.  The baking powder is a revelation – makes the kebabs light and succulent and ‘bouncy’, avoiding any hardness that a lot of meatballs have. 

This time I served them with some baba ganoush, beetroot in yoghurt, salad with lots of mint and coriander, wraps, and the relish in Sally’s recipe (which is HOT to my palate, so be warned!!!).  On other occasions I have made a chickpea salad with a tin of chickpeas, some harrisa, yoghurt, lemon juice, fresh dill and coriander, spooned that over salad leaves, put the kebabs on top and sprinkled with lots of coriander and finely diced cucumber.  

Chelo Kebabs

Serves 2 as a main course

250g minced lamb
½ shallot finely diced
2 tsp. Ras-al-hanout
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp. baking powder
Salt and pepper 


1 small green chilli finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
Olive oil
1 dessertspoon carrot or quince jam
2 tsp. malt vinegar 

To serve:  salad leaves, fresh coriander and mint
Combine the kebab ingredients in a bowl and knead together using your hand.  Do this for a good ten minutes until the mixture becomes sticky and homogenous.  Wet your hands then form into balls or patties or mould round skewers – whatever takes your fancy. Rest in fridge while you make the relish. 

Fry the chilli and onion in a splash of olive oil until softened, then add the jam and vinegar and simmer gently for ten minutes or so.  Spoon into serving pot. 

I generally grill the kebabs, in a futile gesture to losing weight, quite gently, 7-10 minutes a side. 

Line a plate with salad leaves and generous handfuls of mint and coriander then arrange kebabs on top.  Serve with the relish, baba ganoush, grated beetroot with yoghurt, plain thick yoghurt and flat breads to wrap it all up in. Some Persian pickled cucumbers are nice as well. And remember something to wipe your hands with!!!


  1. Sometimes reading your blog is like reading my blog! It's twisting my brain inside out. Anyway lovely to have another Peckham blogger on the scene.

  2. Haha Helen - sorry, we just have similar tastes-you are the queen of grilling though and your jerk supremacy is safe!

  3. Ha ha - don't apologise! Just meant it feels tso familiar reading about Sally & Persepolis & Persian delights. Familiar in a good way.