Shish Kebab (Khorovatz)- The Video Sequel!

Last summer, we got the bright idea to enter a shish kebab video in a national lamb-cooking contest. We figured our pomegranate-marinated recipe was a sure winner.

What we didn’t figure on was rain. A sudden downpour ruined the video, although we salvaged dinner. (Believe us, we’d find a way to make our kebab in a hurricane if we had to.)

We missed the contest, but we never miss the first shish kebab of spring.

We both have fond memories of our fathers firing up the grill in the backyard, the sure sign that winter was finally over.

Here’s our latest attempt at a shish kebab video, and a slightly revised recipe.

Yours is probably a little different. Or a lot different. Every Armenian family has its own twist, and some even have a secret ingredient or two.

Are you willing to share yours?

Our recipe and video are below!

Shish Kebab (Khorovatz)

Classic recipe for skewered and grilled cubes of meat.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people


  • ½ leg of lamb (trimmed and cubed)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • ¼ cup parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp corriander (freshly ground)
  • ½ tsp Allepo pepper (crushed)
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice (or dry red wine)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt (to taste)


  • Put the lamb cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the tomato, garlic, onion and parsley. Toss thoroughly.
  • Add the coriander, crushed pepper and pomegranate juice. Toss again.
  • Cover, and refrigerate overnight, mixing at least once.
  • Place lamb on skewers, then brush on olive oil and sprinkle on sea salt.
  • Note: Save the marinated onions and tomato chunks but DON’T serve raw. Cook in a pan on the stove, or wrap in aluminum foil and cook on the grill.


We love to roast more tomatoes and onions and red or green peppers with our kebab, but it’s best to cook them separately. Alternating meat and veggies on the skewers makes a nice presentation, but they don’t all cook at the same rate.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. tasteofbeirut April 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I am so thrilled to have discovered your site! I am in love with Armenian cuisine and can't wait to spend hours checking you out!

  2. Robyn April 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    We're so glad you like the site! If you happen to come across a recipe called "siserov kufteh", please let me know. It's similar to topig, but without the filling. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous September 5, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Where can I get pomegranate juice?

  4. Robyn September 7, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Most grocery stores sell 100% pomegranate juice. It can be found either in the refrigerated juice section (such as the POM brand) or on the shelf near bottled apple juice, etc.

  5. Anonymous March 21, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I am interested in trying this recipe, but don't have access to a grill for the kabobs. Can I bake them in the oven instead?

    1. Robyn March 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Outdoor grilling truly is best. Do you have a stove top grill pan? If so, that could work, but you'd lose that outdoor grilled flavor. Oven-broiling (not baking) using water-soaked bamboo skewers might be an option, but be very careful not to burn yourself or the meat.

    2. Unknown March 22, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      My grandfather, father and now my family uses a wheelbarrow for grilling. It must be a shallow wheelbarrow to get the skewers close – within 5 inches – to the coals and will hold 6 long shishes. Works perfectly and is easily emptied once the coals are cold.

    3. Robyn Kalajian March 24, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      Clever technique; thanks for sharing!

  6. Anonymous July 21, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Saw the video and this looks like a great recipe which I will try soon. How many people does this recipe serve ?


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