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Lamb kebabs with hot and fresh green relish

Diana Henry / 11 April 2016

Diana Henry's recipe for lamb kebabs with a hot and fresh green relish are perfect for a summer BBQ.

Lamb kebabs with spicy green relish
Lamb kebabs with spicy green relish. Photograph by Laura Edwards, food styling by Joss Herd.

Marinating time


Cooking time

6-8 minutes




For the kebabs

  • 200g cubed leg of lamb, visible fat removed
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4-6 generous tbsp Greek yoghurt

For the relish

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Flaked sea salt
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbs flat leaf parsley
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs mint
  • 1 tbs chopped dill
  • 35g pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
  • Squeeze lemon juice


Lamb, in my opinion, is the best meat for the BBQ. As it’s best to serve it rare you don’t have the big worry of cooking the meat through.

This is just glorious – one of the best things I’ve cooked in ages. There’s sweetness from the lamb, heat from the relish, coolness from the yoghurt. If you don’t want to barbecue the kebabs just brush them with oil and cook them on a griddle instead.

Put the lamb in a bowl with the oil, spices and garlic. Turn the meat over in this with your hands to make sure it gets coated then cover with cling film and put in the fridge. It’s good if you can leave this overnight but if that’s not possible then do give it a couple of hours. Turn the meat over a few times during the marinating.

If you’re going to use wooden skewers soak them in water (this stops them burning). It’s okay if you’re using metal ones.

To make the relish, put the garlic and salt into a mortar and bash it with a pestle until it is crushed. Halve and deseed the chillis and chop roughly. Add them to the mortar along with the coriander, mint and olives and bash everything together, gradually adding the oil and balsamic, until you have a rough paste (it should be chunky – not pureed). Add lemon to taste and set aside.

Put the cubes of lamb onto skewers and season with salt and pepper. Get your bbq hot and cook until the lamb is brown all over but still rare in the middle. As these are good served rare you have much less to worry about than you do when cooking pork. These should be ready in 6- 8 minutes, though it does depends on the heat of your barbecue (and how rare you like your lamb).

Serve the kebabs with the yoghurt, and spoon the relish over the top. Flat bread or boiled rice are good on the side, or you could just serve a green salad or a Greek salad of tomatoes, feta and cucumber.

Visit our BBQ section for more BBQ recipes.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.