Uyghur people are basically Chinese muslims. They live in many places, but Xin Jiang is where there is one of the largest populations.
Oh, and they make FUCKING AMAZING LAMB SKEWERS.
There are a couple of Uyghur restaurants in Sydney and it was there where I had my first (of many) taste of the amazingly spiced sticks. I still remember catching a waft of the skewers being made in the kitchen. When the skewers arrived at the table and I realised they were the cause of the smell, a wave of childlike glee overcame me.
They're so delicious. Did I mention that? It's kind of like God send his son Jesus to be sacrificed for taste. And because Jesus is Jesus he TASTES GREAT. Such an amazing mix of cumin, chilli, citrus and other spices.
After my first taste, I knew that I had to learn what was in the spice mix and how to make the skewers. Well... I found out how...
Start with around a kilo of diced lamb. Leave a bit of fat on the lamb, you'll benefit from it at the end.
In a mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of ground szechuan pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried chilli flakes, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt, a little ground pepper, 1 teaspoon of paprika (preferably smoked paprika), a grated chunk of ginger (a thumb-sized piece), 3 grated garlic cloves, the zest of half a lemon, the juice of 1 lemon, half a cup of olive oil.
Put your lamb in and mix it around; get grabby with your lamb. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours.
30-45 minutes before you want to cook the skewers, take the lamb out of the over and put it on to the skewers. Then let it rest (covered) and warm up a little until cooking time.
When you're ready to cook, get your oven grill, BBQ grill or hot coals as hot as they go.
Cook your skewers! For extra flavour, when you're cooking, shake a bit of cumin and ground szechuan pepper over the top.