I have a lot to thank my vegetarian colleague for. I wouldn’t normally eat strictly vegetarian food, but increasingly I am finding that there is much to be said for most, if not all, of it (tofu, for example, really is disgusting unless freshly made and in Japan).

These kebabs are a case in point. They were specially made for him as the vegetarian option at a dinner to welcome a new Latin American colleague. There were leftovers which my daughter and I sampled cautiously a few days later for supper.

We were both happily surprised, and have replicated it on purpose as it were several times since.


Recipe for kebabs with peanut butter sauce

For six

  • 18 small new potatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500g/1 lb 2 oz halloumi
  • 12 mushrooms – capped type that stays whole
  • 12 bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • 165g/6 oz/⅔ cup peanut butter – crunchy type is best
  • 1 tbsp sweet chillii sauce
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (or a chicken one if that is all you have) dissolved in 120 ml/½ cup just boiled water
  • 3 tsps soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp thick rich good quality soy sauce (for more about how to choose a good soy sauce follow this link)
  • 1 small lime – juice and zest Smoked salt and Indonesian pepper
  1. Gently wash the potatoes, halve any larger ones, put into a saucepan of water and bring to the boil – once boiling continue to cook for 15-20 minutes until they are cooked through. To find out why you put the potatoes in the water first and then bring to the boil, go to don’t shock the tuber.
  2. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile peel and thinly slice two of the cloves of garlic
  4. Cut the halloumi into 18 cubes
  5. Make the peanut butter sauce by gently softening the peanut butter in a bain marie
  6. Crush the remaining garlic cloves and add to the peanut butter
  7. Also add the chilli sauce, the vegetable stock, the sugar, the soy sauce and the lime juice and zest – keep warm so as to keep it more fluid
  8. Use a serrated tomato knife to make some small cuts in the potatoes and fill the cuts with the thin slivers of garlic
  9. Thread the potatoes, cheese, mushrooms and leaves onto skewers, spray with oil (or brush) and season.
  10. Generously oil a ribbled griddle, or heat your grill, or get your barbeque good and hot. Cook the kebabs for about ten minutes, turning a couple of times, until the cheese starts to turn golden at the corners and edges of the cubes.
  11. Serve with the warmed peanut sauce.
halloumi kebabs recipe

When the edges of the halloumi cubes turned golder-brown it’s done