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Moorish kebabs - Marinated meat seasoned with cumin

Moorish kebabs should be on every tapas menu. The Moors were North African Berber tribes, who occupied large parts of the Iberian Peninsula, from 711-1492. They were evangelised by the Arabs and converted to Islam.

As Muslims, they were prohibited from eating pork for religious reasons. One remaining element of this origin today is Moorish pork cooked delicacy with cumin, which comes from Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, and with which the meat is seasoned. Originally lamb meat was used.
With the victory over the Moors in Granada in 1492 their influence on many dishes from the kitchen was reduced and lamb was replaced with pork meat.

In Catalonia, the Moorish influence was never as strong as in Andalusia, for example, where this recipe comes from, so pure Catalan tapas recipes can be found with little Moorish origin.

Ingredients for four servings

  • 600 g pork or lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 pinches paprika
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 wooden skewers


Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes.
Peel the garlic.

Put the oil, lemon juice and spices into a bowl. Add the garlic through a press. Mix the marinade well.

Add the meat and stir again. Cover and marinate for 1 hour in the fridge.

Wash the wooden skewers in water and then put the meat on the skewers and grill. You can also fry the skewers evenly in a pan.

Tips and variation

You can also put cocktail tomatoes or skinned yellow and red pepper strips at the top of the skewers in order to give this recipe – which is originally from Andalusía – a Catalan flavor.

Serve the skewers on a hot or cold dish.

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Marinate for 1 hour.