Keema Kebab with Yogurt Sauce


Fresh middle eastern summertime dinner!  

Author Becky Brilliant-Parent of Riesenstein Farm


  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1 lb. Ground lamb
  • 3 tbsp. Mild curry powder or Zataar Spice
  • 5 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. Whole cumin seed or 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • Lettuce wrap leaves Rinsed and blotted dry
  • Cucumber Cut into thin spears
  • Sweet onion Sliced OR green onions, chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes Quartered and seasoned with salt and pepper

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 qt. Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Large sweet onion minced
  • 4-5 Pickling cucumbers or 1 English hothouse cucumber finely chopped
  • ½ Bunch fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • Kosher salt


  1. In a small frying pan, toast whole cumin seed over medium-low heat until fragrant. Set aside and cool completely; then grind cumin seed in a mortar and pestle. Substitute ground cumin if whole cumin seed is unavailable.

  2. In a large bowl, combine beef, lamb, curry powder, minced garlic, ground cumin seed, and salt. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of mixture into oblong meatballs, and thread onto bamboo skewers. Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, turning frequently about 7-10 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest five minutes.
  3. Serve with lettuce wrap leaves, thin cucumber spears, sliced sweet onion or chopped green onions, and cherry tomatoes. Round out your meal with yogurt sauce and steamed white rice or quinoa.

Yogurt Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with kosher salt.
  2. *** I use pickling cucumbers because I find they have the best flavor and the most tender skins. If using a larger cucumber, you may want to consider removing the seeds, so your sauce does not get watery.

Recipe Notes

Yogurt recipe can easily be made smaller.  I just usually make a whole quart’s worth because it is a tasty accompaniment to all my favorite summertime grilled items and is an essential condiment in our home all year long!  We use it on all Indian, Middle-Eastern, and North African entrées. It is fantastic on tacos and burritos and can also be an excellent stand alone dip with crudité or toasted pita.  Enjoy!