This perennial favorite dances with flavor after the meat marinates for hours in the deliciously fragrant spices and herbs that Jambo Café chef Ahmed Obo grew up savoring on the island of Lamu.
2–3 pounds beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1–1½ cups olive oil
1. Begin 6 to 8 hours in advance for proper marinating time. Set beef in a medium to large bowl.
2. In a food processor or blender, combine the herbs, spices, ginger, and salt. Run on low, adding the olive oil slowly until a paste forms. With a rubber spatula, scoop the spice paste into the bowl of beef. Mix by hand until the beef is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.
3. About 15 minutes before cooking time, place the skewers in a pan of water so they don’t burn when cooking. Remove beef from refrigerator. Place beef cubes onto skewers. Cubes may be touching slightly.
4. You can cook the kebabs on the stove or on a grill. For the stove: Heat a bit of oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook the kebabs for 5 to 8 minutes, turning them so they brown on all sides. For grilling: Heat grill to medium and cook the kebabs for 7 to 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
Read more: This recipe originally appeared in "Jambo Joy" by Johnny Vee.