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Cumin-Spiced Beef Kebabs
with cucumbers / tomatoes / pita / hummus

Active: 40 min Total: 1 hr 10 min
This classic Cook Smarts recipe (first featured in 2013) is great for cool or warm weather, so feel free to fire up the grill if the weather permits. The grill will add a nice smokiness to the kebabs.
Smarts: Marinating the meat and threading it onto skewers is the most time-consuming part of this meal, so do those steps ahead of time if you can.


Cumin-Spiced Beef Kebabs:
  • Steak, NY strip, sirloin, or any other cut - 1 1/2 lbs , cubed
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp + 2/3 tsp
  • Skewers, bamboo or metal - 8 to 12
  • Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cucumber and Tomato Salad:
  • Cucumbers - 12 oz , chopped
  • Tomatoes, roma - 4 , chopped
  • Dill - 1 tsp , chopped
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Sour cream - 1 Tbsp
Hummus and Pita Bread:
  • Pita or flatbread - 4 rounds
  • Hummus - 5 oz


  1. Steak - Slice steak into 1" / 2.5 cm cubes. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  2. Marinate steak - (If cooking on the grill, get grill heating while steak marinates.) Combine soy sauce, first part of cooking oil, and first part of cumin. Add steak and tenderize steak with a fork. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  3. Skewers - If using bamboo / wooden skewers, soak in water for 10 minutes.
  4. Cucumbers / Tomatoes / Dill - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  5. Assemble kebabs - Thread steak onto skewers, ~5 cubes / kebab. We typically use 2 skewers per kebab. This makes it easier to flip the kebabs while cooking. (Check out this video to see how this is done.)

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  1. If cooking on a grill: Heat grill to 500F / 260C degrees. Clean grates and brush with second part of cooking oil. Place kebabs over heat and grill on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, rotating to cook on all sides. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for ~5 minutes.
  2. If cooking on the stovetop: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add second part of cooking oil. Place kebabs on pan and grill on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, rotating to cook all sides. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for ~5 minutes.
  3. While steak is resting, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, lemon juice, and sour cream. Season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Toast pita.
  5. Mix together second part of cumin, coriander, and salt. Sprinkle over kebabs.
  6. Enjoy kebabs with hummus, pita, and salad on the side. (If you want, you can take the meat off the skewers and make wraps.) Enjoy!



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