Every Middle Eastern region has at least one version of kebabs. The recipe is a play on the Egyptian kebab, which is typically made from boneless beef sirloin rather than the ground beef used in almost all other variations. This recipe uses a combination of lentils, chickpeas and vital wheat gluten to craft succulent, tender chunks of “beef” that are immersed in a smoky marinade, skewered and roasted to savory perfection. Pair this kebab with a light and refreshing salatet zabadi (yogurt dip/tzatziki) and served it with salad and quinoa.
Reprinted with permission from The Vegan Middle Eastern Cookbook by Noha Elbadry - Cloud. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photo credit: Noha Elbadry - Cloud.
Kebab Skewers with Salatet Zabadi [Vegan]
Ingredients You Need for Kebab Skewers with Salatet Zabadi [Vegan]
For the Kebab Dough:
- 1 (15-oz [425-g]) can lentils, undrained
- 2/3 cup (109 g) cooked chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) mushroom seasoning or no-beef bouillon
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) onion powder
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups (240 g) vital wheat gluten, plus more if needed
For the Kebab Marinade:
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (20 g) pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
For the Salatet Zabadi:
- 1 1/2 cups (115 g) vegan yogurt
- 1 English cucumber, grated then placed in a towel and wrung out
- 1/4 cup (13 g) chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons (11 g) chopped mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Spring mix
- Sliced cherry tomatoes
- Sliced cucumbers
- Chopped fresh mint
- Pickled red onions
- Cooked quinoa
- Lime wedges
How to Prepare Kebab Skewers with Salatet Zabadi [Vegan]
- To make the kebab, add 1 cup (240 ml) of water to a food processor with the lentils, chickpeas, soy sauce, harissa, mushroom seasoning, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sage and salt. Pulse it until completely smooth and creamy.
- Place the vital wheat gluten in a large bowl. Pour the creamy lentil mixture on top and knead until combined. Add more gluten 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time if the mixture is too wet and not holding together. Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes or knead by hand for 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic and moist without being crumbly.
- Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Chop the kebab dough into bite-sized pieces; smaller is better because seitan expands as it cooks. Transfer the seitan to the pot and simmer the seitan bites for 30 to 40 minutes, or until meaty and tender. Drain the seitan bites and set them aside to cool.
- To make the marinade, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, pomegranate molasses, liquid smoke, smoked paprika and coriander in a large container with a lid. Transfer the seitan to the container and toss to coat. Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- To cook the kebab, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Arrange the seitan bites on skewers, transfer them to a grilling pan, brush them with the marinade and roast them for 10 minutes. Flip the skewers, brush them with the marinade again and continue roasting until crispy on all sides, about 7 to 10 more minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.
- To make the salatet zabadi, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, mint, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a large container with an airtight lid. Mix well and cover. Refrigerate until ready to use or for up to 3 days.
- To plate, start with a base of spring mix, then top with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, pickled onions and the kebab skewers. Serve with a side of salatet zabadi, quinoa and a couple of lime wedges.
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