Spiced Lamb and Beef Kebabs served with cilantro and red onion slices

Spiced Beef and Lamb Kebabs

These kebabs have a bit of kick with the addition of the cayenne and Thai chili in them. Nik’s recipe calls for 1 pound of beef, but I did a mix of lamb and beef because I like the flavor that ground lamb adds to the recipe. Feel free to use 1 pound of ground beef if you prefer. These kebabs are great appetizers or can be served as a main course with a vegetables over a starch of your choice. They are panfried by themselves, not on a skewer on the stovetop in a skillet. 

Though the ingredient list seems long, most the spices are probably in your pantry already. The few that aren’t including the chickpea/garbanzo bean flour (sometimes called gram flour or besan flour), can be found at online, at an ethnic grocery store (try one that sells Asian and/or Middle Eastern groceries) or at a well-stocked grocery store (look for it near other gluten free and whole grain flours). Fresh Thai chilis can also be found at Asian grocery stores, but you can substitute 2 small serrano pepper in place of the Thai chilis though it won’t be quite as spicy nor will it have the same sort of “fruity” flavor that Thai chilis have. 

Finally, Nik’s original recipe calls for dried mint which is surprisingly hard to find in most grocery stores. If you can’t source dried mint, pick up a box of mint tea (flip over the box and make sure the ingredients are JUST mint, and not a blend of other herbs or teas) and use that in place of the dried mint. I used peppermint tea for this recipe, but because you only use 1 teaspoon (roughly half a tea bag) and it blends with all the other spices, any mint will do.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword beef, cookbook, indian, kebab, lamb, spicy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 15 kebabs
Calories 105 kcal
Author Irvin


  • 1/2 pound ground beef 15% fat recommended
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions (about 1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour see headnote above
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 fresh Thai chilis, minced see headnote above
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1- inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint (about 1/2 bag of mint tea) see headnote above
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

To garnish

  • 1 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • Thinly sliced red onions


  1. Place all the ingredients for the kebab except for the olive oil in large bowl. Mix first with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are all evenly distributed.
    place all the kebab ingredients (other than the olive oil) in a large bowl and mix together.
  2. Dampen your hands and then form 1 1/2-inch wide patties that are 1/2-inch thick with the mixture. You should have about 14 or 15 patties once you are done.
    Form 15 patties, about 1 1/2-inches wide and 1/2-inch thick, from the mixture.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook half the kebabs over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the side of the kebab is a deep golden brown and a crust has formed. Flip the kebab over and continue to cook until the kebab is cooked through.
    Fry the kebabs in batches, until golden brown and crusty, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Serve the kebabs with cilantro leaves and thinly sliced red onions.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Nik Sharma’s book Season.