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Cumin Lamb Skewers

Lamb Skewers with Cumin and Chili
Lamb Skewers with Cumin and Chili pictures (1 of 4)

I love spices. I think that’s pretty obvious if you follow my blog. Most of my favorite dishes are made with heavy doses of spices, exotic spices! Growing up in Malaysia, which is a core part of the ancient spice route, I pretty much grew up with spices in my DNA. I can’t live without spices, if I make something plain, there is always a side dish of spice-laden concoction to jazz things up.

If you love spices, then it’s very likely that you love cumin. I love cumin, the exotic and distinctive aroma and flavor it lends to the dish is simply beyond words. I grew up eating lots of Nyonya food made by my late grandmother and aunt and many recipes call for the use of cumin.

Lamb Skewers with Cumin and Chili

With the earthy note and fragrance it lend to the dishes, it’s no surprise that I love cumin lamb, an iconic dish from Xinjiang, a region in China. I have had many wonderful cumin lamb in China during my past visits, and the most addictive of all is the cumin lamb skewers (called “Yang Rou Chuan” in Chinese), sold by native Xinjiang people in places such as Beijing. I could eat so many skewers of them.

Since summer is in full swing, you can make cumin lamb skewers for your summer parties. They are great, absolutely mouthwatering, and best of all, the smell that lingers and set your mouth watering. Try them instead of the regular chicken and beef. They will add so much more flavors to your summer!

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13 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Saif

    Can’t agree more. Xinjiang people make it best. I have the same memory of Beijing. But they make it lot leaner. Less meaty… :) as it yield more sticks I think. Or if we make it less meaty, it becomes more flavourful? What you say Bee?

  2. Tom

    Bee, are the propositions of the spice mix equal? e.g. 1T cumin, 1T Coriander 1T Fennel. My brother-in-law had a small restaurant in Hangzhou. I pleaded with my wife to get me the recipe for the spice mix forever. She told me there is no recipe the chef just mixes some spices up. To make a long story readable, thanks I finally am close to making the snack food of my dreams!

  3. FoodJunkie

    When you call for chili powder in this recipe what do you use? There are so many options sold as chili powder when you factor in all the national variants that the result could be quite different depending on the sort of chili powder used.

  4. ElizabethCee

    Dear Bee, as with other readers,I would like to know the proportions for making the spice mix ( ie is it 1 part cumin seeds, 1 part fennel and 1 part coriander seeds) please

  5. Rasa Malaysia

    To Tom & ElizabethCee,
    For the Spice Mix, you need 1 tablespoonful in total, with the combination of cumin, coriander and fennel. The ratio depends on you. For this recipe, I use 1 part cumin, and 1/2 of each coriander and fennel and sums up to 1 tablespoonful of Spice Mix.

  6. ElizabethCee

    Thanks for this recipe Bee. I made it tonight and it was delicious! Will definitely make this again. I loved the spices. I had never tried Szechuan pepper before so only used 1/4 teaspoon but next time will try the 1/2 teaspoon. Fortunately there is enough left over for our lunches tomorrow.

  7. BiGF00T

    Normally, there’s also a piece of fat on each skewer which makes the whole thing tasty and juicy. But all lamb meat I can buy is lean and there’s no fat to stick on the stick. Does anyone know where to buy it or which part of the lamb the fat comes from? Without the fat, neither taste nor juiciness is completely right.

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