This easy springy dinner builds layers of flavor, with a bold spice blend, bay leaves, fresh herbs, and our favorite new flavor booster: a homemade lemon-honey syrup. The syrup is best when made the day before so the lemon juice and honey have time to mingle, but if you only have a few hours it should still serve its purpose. Our friends at NY Shuk created the fragrant spice blend used here, calling on the flavors traditionally used when cooking meat on a rotating spit in many Middle Eastern countries. They also recommend this blend to amplify vegetable or fish dishes. Serve this bowl with any combination of fresh Spring produce and herbs (snap peas! asparagus! dill! parsley!) This ingenious method of cooking the lamb on a baking sheet ensures it becomes crispy and caramelized and cooks in a flash.
*Note: you can create your own shawarma spice blend by combining 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon paprika, and pinch of cinnamon and cayenne pepper
- 1 batch lemon-honey syrup
For the Shawarma-Spiced Lamb
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon NY Shuk shawarma spice blend
- 3 finely chopped lemon slices, from lemon-honey syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon-honey syrup
For the Yogurt Sauce
- 7 ounces Whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon-honey syrup
- 3 lemon slices from lemon-honey syrup
For the Rice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/ 4 cup raisins or dried currants
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1/ 2 cup fresh mint, dill, or parsley (or a combination), torn
Marinate the lamb:
Whisk egg, shawarma spice blend, chopped lemon slices, and grated garlic in a medium bowl. Add ground lamb and stir until well combined, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to overnight.
Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and a light coating of neutral oil.
Make the Yogurt Sauce:
Meanwhile, combine Greek yogurt with garlic, chopped lemon slices, lemon-honey syrup, and salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cook the Lamb:
Arrange small mounds of the seasoned lamb mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving space in between as to not overcrowd the pan. Brush lamb with lemon-honey syrup and broil on high for 8 minutes. Brush with another layer of lemon-honey syrup and continue cooking lamb until golden brown and caramelized, about 5 more minutes.
Make the Rice:
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add bay leaves and basmati rice, stirring to coat with butter. Season with salt to taste, then add 1 ⅓ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in raisins or dried currants, then cover for 5 minutes to steam.
Assemble the Bowls:
Assemble the bowls. Spoon some yogurt sauce into the bowl and swipe it up the sides. Add a few spoonfuls of rice, then top with lamb, some sliced radishes, and a drizzle of more yogurt sauce. Finish with torn mint.