Ainsley Harriot joins us in the kitchen where he’ll be serving the perfect treat for a weekend in the warm weather. These beef kebabs can be cooked on the BBQ or on a hot grill. They’re bursting with flavour - garlic, ginger and chilli. The toasted coconut adds a nutty sweetness to this spicy dish - all topped with a parsley and mint chilli salsa and a lovely fresh watercress side salad.
Poppy and coconut beef kebabs with roasted chilli salsa
These kebabs are lovely to cook on the barbecue, but are just as good made on a chargrill pan if the weather isn’t ideal. The toasted coconut adds a nutty sweetness to this spicy dish.
1kg beef sirloin, cut into 2½cm dice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
3 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
For the roasted chilli salsa
3 long green chillies, tops trimmed
6–8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus an extra drizzle for oiling the chillies
1 garlic clove, peeled
A large handful of flat-leaf parsley
A handful of mint
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat a barbecue (if using)
Place the diced beef in a large bowl
In a separate small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic and ginger and pour over the beef
Mix with your hands to ensure the beef is well coated
Cover the bowl with cling film and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour
Next, make the salsa
Unless using a barbecue, preheat the grill to its highest setting
Place the green chillies on a small baking tray and lightly drizzle with oil
Place the tray under the hot grill for 5–10 minutes, until the chillies are charred and blistered – they should be nice and soft. Alternatively, this can be done directly on the barbecue.
Put the garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice and charred chillies into a food processor and pulse for 4–5 seconds
Add the oil and pulse again, until the mixture is well combined but still quite coarse. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
For the spice mixture - Heat a small dry frying pan over a low heat, add the chilli flakes, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and desiccated coconut and lightly toast. As soon as the coconut turns golden, remove from the heat and tip into a pestle and mortar.
Grind to a coarse texture. Remove the marinated beef from the fridge, add the spice mixture and massage the spices into the beef.
Thread the pieces of beef onto skewers
Place the beef skewers on the barbecue (or on a pre-heated chargrill pan) and grill, turning frequently, for about 6 minutes, depending on how you like your beef cooked
Once cooked, remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. To serve, place the beef kebabs on a board and spoon over the salsa.
Watercress, cashew and coconut salad
This is such a simple salad to make, yet it’s so tasty with a lovely crunch. If you like, you can use a combination of rocket and watercress; both are readily available in salad bags and both have a wonderful peppery flavour that goes perfectly with the sweet dressing.
200g fresh coconut
100g (about 1 large bag) watercress
Washed 75g cashew nuts
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil a pinch of salt
Coarsely grate the fresh coconut into a large bowl, add the watercress and cashews and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt. Drizzle the dressing over the watercress, coconut and cashews, toss together and place in a serving bowl.