Moorish Kebabs with Jewelled Rice Salad

Image of kebabs and saladsYou can make these with lamb or pork, depending on your dietary preferences and what meat you have to hand.

They really do need to be marinated for a minimum of six to eight hours, so although they don’t take long to cook, you do need to plan ahead.

If you don’t have mild sweet Spanish paprika, reduce the quantity to 1 tspn.

Moorish Kebabs

  • Servings: makes around 12 skewers
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Image of lamb being trimmed

1lb/450g lamb rump or pork loin or fillet, trimmed of all sinews and cut into 1″ cubes

For the marinade:

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tspn  fennel seeds

1/4 tsp ground ginger

Pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg

Pinch of ground black pepper

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tsp salt

Image of saffron infusing in water

Pinch of saffron, infused in 1/3 cup of hot water

1 tblsp fresh or dried oregano, crumbled

1 bay leaf, crumbled

2 tblsp parsley, roughly chopped

1 tblsp sweet Spanish paprika

1 tblsp red wine vinegar

2 tblsp olive oil


Image of spices being ground in a pestle and mortar

Pound the whole spices to a powder.

Pound the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar to make a paste and transfer to a bowl.

Add all the spices, the saffron and its water, herbs, vinegar and olive oil to the garlic paste and mix thoroughly.

Add the cubed meat to the marinade, making sure it’s well coated, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours.

Image of lamb marinating

Thread onto skewers (soak them first if they’re wooden to stop them burning).

Grill or barbecue on a high heat until cooked through but still juicy, turning so they cook evenly.

Image of pile of kebabs on a plate

Very good with a tomato, mint and onion salad and this jewelled rice dish. I helped make it for a friend’s party and I think it originated with Jamie Oliver but I’ve recreated it from memory and (inevitably) tweaked it a bit.

Image of rice and red pepper salad

You can of course adjust the quantity of chilli if you’d like it to be milder but please don’t leave it out altogether. The lemon zest is non-negotiable too …

Jewelled Rice Salad


250g long grain rice, cooked and cooled

200g roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and thinly sliced

1-2 fat fruity red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

Small bunch of spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced, including the green parts

Image of chillies and spring onions

A handful of mint leaves, chopped

A handful of basil leaves, chopped

A handful of chives, snipped into short lengths

The zest of a lemon

About 4 tblspns of vinaigrette, made with a good olive oil, the juice of the lemon, salt and pepper

A handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)


Image of mint and basil, chopped

Thinly slice the peppers and chillies, chop the herbs and mix them into the cooled rice.

Dress with the lemon vinaigrette, zest a lemon over the top and mix well.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Scatter with a handful of pomegranate seeds if you have them.

Image of rice and red pepper salad

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