Grilling and grilled food are most often associated with being dry and tasteless - a misconception that we can change with these five delicious grilled items courtesy of Khaymat Al Bahr. Following a strict Lebanese cuisine recipe, these grilled items include copious amounts of olive oil, garlic and lemon- the typical flavours found in a Lebanese diet. Quintessentially falling under the category of mezze, these dishes when served create amass of colours, flavours, textures and aromas.
1. Shish Tawook
The first of the mezze in this list is Shish Tawook. It’s a traditional middle- eastern cuisine, famous for its style of preparation in many kebab places. Originally of Turkish origin, Shish Tawook can be eaten by itself straight of the skewer or like a sandwich with pita bread and some garlic paste. Shish Tawook is made using only chicken breast, cut into cubes of roughly 80cms. The spices used for marinating are garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt with a little bit of oil. It’s then grilled in charcoal and served with garlic sauce.
2. Dajaj Bil Batata
Known more commonly as “Baked garlic chicken and potatoes”, the only difference between this and Shish Tawook is that meat from the thigh or breast of the chicken can be used and is baked in the oven. Made using one slice of potato layered under a chicken piece, the main ingredients here also are garlic and lemon juice along with some coriander. The most important thing for this recipe is that the garlic needs to be minced or crushed well to get the adequate flavor.
3. Lamb Kofta
Kofta means to mash in Persian, from the Persian word “kefteh”. The meat from the shoulder is predominantly used due to that part lacking in muscles. It is found to be more soft and fatty. The meat is thoroughly minced in a mixer and mixed with onion and parsley, which are chopped by hand. These skewered kebabs are fresh, full of flavor and can be eaten rolled up inside flatbreads, or along with a salad.
4. Lamb Kebabs
Tradition suggests that kebabs were invented by medieval Persian soldiers in open-field fires and were served in the royal houses. The lamb for this kebab is cut into small cube sized pieces and marinated in black pepper, oil and onion. Made almost similar to tandoori kebabs, these lamb kebabs can be grilled on tiny individual skewers and placed together while serving. Kebabs can be served with either rice or naan.
5. Fish Harra
Last but not least, this item gets a complimentary place in grilled items due the fact that the fish is grilled, even though the dish is cooked in a sauce. In Lebanon, where this dish can trace its roots, it’s only called grilled if the there is no sauce with it. This recipe is most special near the coast of Lebanon, due to its close proximity to the sea. Fish Harra is made using tomato sauce, chili and capsicum. The spices flatter each other and neutralize the taste since chili is spicy and capsicum is sweet. (One of our personal favorites.)