Region: Arab Levant, Syria
Difficulty: Easy but special equipment needed
A famous preparation from Aleppo is called kabab bi'l-karaz, kebabs with cherries. A special kind of cherry found around Aleppo is used, the St. Lucie's cherry (Prunus mahaleb L.), which is a small, bitter, crimson-colored black cherry. You can use either canned sour cherries or any fresh pitted cherries. This recipe is a version in which the lamb meat is ground first as a kafta.
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 1:20 hours
1. In a medium-sized bowl, knead together the lamb, baharat, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, using wet hands to keep the meat from sticking. Transfer to a food processor and process until the meat is smooth and pasty. Form into balls the size of a large olive and skewer them interspersed with cherries, using 5 balls of meat and about 4 or 5 cherries per skewer. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high. Place the skewers on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the meat is browned and springy to the touch, about 10 minutes.