Harissa Chicken Kebabs in a Zaat’aar Cream

Harissa Chicken Kebabs in a Zaat’aar Cream

My love for Middle Eastern cooking goes back to my days living as an expat in the UAE. I love the mild and aromatic flavours of the spices like harissa, sumac and zaa’taar. I try most often at home to vary the cuisine that I serve to my family. As much as we love Indian food, the use of the same spices and flavours can become monotonous and mundane. I love experimenting with Mexican, Asian and my favourite, Middle Eastern.

This dish is mildly spiced, making it ideal for the whole family. The flavours of the kebabs are bold, yet mellowed by the creamy zaa’taar sauce. The addition of eggplant slices is a great contrast and adds depth to the dish. Eggplant or aubergine is a very popular and widely used in Arabic cooking.

Following through with the Walnut Pesto motto, this dish is simple to make and the kebabs can be prepared in advance, and the cream is quick and easy to make. I hope that your family enjoys the contrasting flavours and tastes of the Middle East.

*The spices can be found at Woolworths, Amina’s Wonder Spice and at the Spice Emporium

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Harissa Chicken Kebabs in a Zaa’taar Cream

Ingredients :

  • Kebaabs :
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed coriander
  • 1/4 tsp crushed cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 slice of bread, soaked
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp harissa paste/powder
  • extra chilli (the harissa is spicy, if you prefer more)
  • Sauce :
  • 1 tsp zaat’aar
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 2 tblsp garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp crushed green chillies
  • chopped coriander
  • sliced eggplant, fried or baked
  • oil
  • butter


Directions :

Combine all the ingredients for the kebaabs and mix well until combined. Form into round flat patties and fry in a little oil until cooked on both sides. Transfer to a casserole dish and place in a single layer.

Combine the sauce ingredients and allow to simmer until thick. Place the cooked eggplant slices over the kebaabs. Place a few blobs of butter over. Drizzle over the sauce. Cover with foil. Heat on 150 degrees celcius until warm. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with a crunchy green salad or warm pita breads.