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Kebabs with zucchini tzatziki and za’atar

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for kebabs with zucchini tzatziki and za’atar.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus draining, marinating, cooling
  • Serves 6
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Kebabs with zucchini tzatziki and za’atar
Homemade za'atar tastes much better than the shop-bought equivalent. Once you try it, you'll want to sprinkle it on everything. Begin this recipe a day ahead to make the zucchini tzatziki. This recipe makes 12 kebabs.


  • 1.5 kg piece of boneless pork leg or pork shin, skin removed, cut into rough 2cm pieces
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp each ground cumin, sweet paprika and dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • To serve: lemon wedges, parsley, coriander and mint leaves (all optional)
  • To serve: pita bread
Zucchini tzatziki
  • 600 gm thick plain yoghurt
  • 3 zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 1½ garlic cloves, crushed
  • Juice of 1½ lemons
Pickled onion
  • 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 4 Spanish onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tbsp each pomegranate juice and honey
  • 35 gm sesame seeds (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup (firmly packed) oregano leaves
  • 2 tbsp (firmly packed) thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp sumac


  • 1
    For zucchini tzatziki, place yoghurt in a muslin-lined colander over a bowl, cover and refrigerate until whey has drained and yoghurt is very thick (overnight), then discard whey. Transfer yoghurt to a bowl, add remaining ingredients, season to taste, mix to combine and refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, skewer 6 pieces of pork onto each of 12 wooden skewers and place in a non-reactive container. Add lemon juice, oil, spices, oregano and garlic, toss to combine and refrigerate to marinate (1-2 hours).
  • 3
    For pickled onion, bring vinegar and sugar to the simmer in a saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, then set aside to cool. Add remaining ingredients and set aside for flavours to develop until required.
  • 4
    For za’atar, toast sesame seeds and herbs in a small saucepan over medium heat until seeds are just golden and herbs are dried (5-7 minutes). Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add sumac and 1 tbsp sea salt, coarsely grind and set aside.
  • 5
    Preheat barbecue to medium heat, add kebabs and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, wrap pita bread in foil and warm on the barbecue or in a low-temperature oven. Serve with kebabs, zucchini tzatziki, pickled onion and za’atar.