This recipe pays homage to one of the earliest forms of cooking: roasting meat on a spit over a fire. Roasting smaller cuts, like kebabs, became popular in areas like the Middle East, where firewood was scarce, as they proved more practical to cook over small fires. According to food historian Gil Marks, the word is derived from the ancient Persian “kabab,” which most likely stemmed from Aramaic.
4 or 5 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
thinly sliced red onion
1. Combine the spices in a bowl. Add the cubed chicken and olive oil; mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, and up to 12 hours. The longer it marinates, the tastier it’ll be!
2. Take 12-15 wooden or metal skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them for half an hour so they don’t burn and catch fire on the grill. Thread the marinated chicken onto the skewers — I like to thread them longways so there’s more surface area to grill.
3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grease it by dipping a few paper towels in vegetable oil then, using tongs, rub them carefully over the grates until glossy.
4. Place the kebabs on the grill and cook until golden brown, around 5-6 minutes per side. Use tongs to turn them. They should be charred in places.
5. Transfer to a platter and scatter with parsley and sliced red onion. Squeeze with fresh lime. Serve with warm laffa bread and hummus.