• Yield: Serves 6-8

  • Time: 10 minutes (plus at least 60 minutes to marinade) prep, 10 minutes cooking

This week’s recipe is a super simple take on the kabob that can be done with or without a grill. Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe for Spice-Marinated Beef Kabobs from her book, Feast, relies on that powerful combo of spices plus time. Sirloin steak is cut into generous pieces and marinated with smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, lots of garlic, lemon juice and oil.  She sears the marinated beef on the stovetop until crusty and then threads them on skewers for the table. If you have a grill at the ready, don’t hesitate to grill them on the skewers over medium heat until crusty. If the beef marinates a little longer, say overnight, it will be even more flavorful.

Recipe introduction written by The Splendid Table Managing Producer Sally Swift for our Weeknight Kitchen newsletter series. Sign up here to receive our weekly recipe newsletter.


  • 2 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground

  • black pepper

  • 4–5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

To Serve

  • sliced red onion

  • natural yogurt

  • fresh cilantro

  • pita bread or wraps

Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour


Put the beef into a large mixing bowl, add the spices, garlic, lemon juice, a generous amount of salt and pepper and the oil, adding more if necessary to enable the spices to coat the beef pieces. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

I find it easier and less messy to cook the beef pieces in a frying pan and then thread them onto skewers to serve. To cook, heat a large frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, place some of the beef pieces in the pan, leaving just a little spacing between them, and cook until a deep brown crust forms, 2–3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and leave to rest while you cook subsequent batches. Thread the pieces of beef onto skewers when ready to serve. Serve with onion slivers, yogurt, and herbs in pita breads or wraps.

Recipe extracted from FEASTS: Middle Eastern Food to Savor & Share by Sabrina Ghayour. Published by Weldon Owen (March 2018).