Indian-Inspired Backyard BBQ

The lamb itself in Tandoori Lamb Kebabs with Samosa Mashed Potatoes is wonderful and fragrant with classic Indian spice. But what makes this a Wowser is the accompanying onions, which add the perfect amount of sweetness and char. Most supermarkets carry the spice mix garam masala these days; if you can’t find it locally, order it online.

We both thought that the amount of marinade was overkill, and in fact after making it, we believe you can get away with making half of the amount. There was enough leftover to additionally slather marinade all over the onions once on the skewers, put some in a side dish for the table, and still have excess.


And for a unique side dish, how about the delicious flavors from your favorite Indian restaurant samosas, but none of the laborious shaping and frying? The answer is Samosa Mashed Potatoes. When you look at the list of the ingredients it may seem overwhelming, but most of it is spices, and they are used in both the lamb and the potato dishes.


Being a warm summer night, I wasn’t too keen on mashed potatoes, but we were both pleasantly surprised how well they meshed with the kebabs and they were packed full of flavor.



Tandoori Lamb Kebabs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 32 oz. plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 Tbs. garam masala
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lb. boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Lemon wedges
  • Chutney (optional)


  • In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, garam masala, paprika, cardamom, cumin, and 1 tsp. salt. Add the lamb, toss, and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
  • Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire or heat a grill pan on high. Thread the lamb and onion onto metal skewers, alternating pieces of lamb and onion. (If you have leftover onion, make a skewer of just onions.)
  • Lightly oil the grill, then grill the kebabs, turning once or twice, until the lamb is cooked through and the onions are charred in places, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and flaky salt, and serve with the lemon wedges and chutney, if using.

Samosa Mashed Potatoes


Samosa Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1-1/4 lb.  Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Generous pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro, more to garnish
  • Lemon wedges (optional)


  1. Put the potatoes in a large pot of  water, season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain.
  2. Melt the butter in the same saucepan. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne; cook, stirring, until fragrant.
  3. Add the cream and 1 tsp. salt, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Return the potatoes to the pan and mash.
  5. Stir in the peas and warm through. Stir in the cilantro, and serve garnished with more cilantro and a lemon wedge, if you like.

Both recipes from Fine Cooking; the lamb by By Ronne Day, the potatoes by Laraine Perri 

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