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Veal and lamb pistachio kebabs with Afghan bread, cracked wheat and hung yoghurt

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for veal and lamb pistachio kebabs with Afghan bread, cracked wheat and hung yoghurt.

By Robert Marchetti
  • Serves 4
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus draining

“Somebody asked me once how you make street food into restaurant food. I joked that all you need to do is put it on a plate, which is what we’ve done with the ultimate street food: the kebab. Kebabs have got a bad rap as being unhealthy, but this is lean and light with a great smoky flavour from being cooked over the coals.”

You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 500 gm thick Greek-style yoghurt
  • 4 long green chillies
  • olive oil, For drizzling
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • ½ tsp sumac
  • Afghan bread (see note), To serve
Cracked wheat
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp pepper paste (see note)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 125 gm coarse burghul
  • 2 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
Veal and lamb pistachio kebabs
  • 300 gm each coarsely minced veal and lamb
  • 100 gm slivered pistachios


  • 1
    Place yoghurt in a muslin-lined sieve placed over a bowl. Tie to enclose and drain until thick (overnight; discard liquid).
  • 2
    For cracked wheat, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), add garlic, tomato paste and pepper paste, stir to combine then add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender (1-2 minutes). Add burghul and spices, mix to combine, add 500ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed and burghul is tender (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat, cover with a tea towel and a lid and stand until excess moisture is absorbed (5-10 minutes). Keep warm.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for veal and lamb pistachio kebabs, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and mix well to combine. Mould meat mixture along four 15cm-long metal skewers, pressing firmly, and refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat. Drizzle kebabs and green chillies lightly with oil and cook, turning once, until just cooked (2 minutes on each side).
  • 5
    Meanwhile, divide onion among serving plates, scatter with sumac, add a dollop of hung yoghurt and divide cracked wheat among plates. Trim Afghan bread to the same size as kebabs, place a kebab and grilled chilli on each and serve warm.


Pepper paste, or biber salcasi, is available from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean grocers. Afghan bread, a large Middle Eastern flatbread, is available from select delicatessens and grocers.
This recipe is from the January 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Wine suggestion 2010 Centennial Vineyards Reserve Unfiltered Pinot Noir, Southern Highlands, NSW. Drink suggestion by Maurice Terzini & Robert Marchetti

  • Author: Robert Marchetti