They are an obligatory feature on special occasions, such as weddings. Azerbaijanis love to make kebabs at picnics and at their summer houses and, as is the case the world over, it is the men who take charge of the barbecue. The traditional name for kebabs, shishlik, after the metal skewer or shish on which a kebab is cooked, entered the Russian language as shashlik, which is now the name for any kind of barbecued meat in Russia. Lamb kebabs are a staple of the Azerbaijani barbecue.
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 30 min
- 500 g/1 lb 1 oz lamb
- 1 large onion
- 1 bunch of spring onions, parsley and purple basil
- salt & pepper
- Take meat from the loin or hind leg and cut into 35-40 g/1.2 to 1.6 oz pieces. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and place in a bowl with rings of raw onion to marinade for an hour or so before cooking.
- Thread the marinaded lamb pieces onto long thin metal skewers and cook over hot coals.
- As soon as they are cooked, serve the lamb pieces with rings of raw onion, chopped herbs and sumac or narsharab. Sumac, an alkaline red powder from barberry bark, has a zesty flavour and is thought to aid digestion of acidic meat, while narsharab is a sauce made from pomegranates.
- Barbecued tomatoes, aubergines and peppers or barbecue salad are an excellent accompaniment to lamb kebabs.