Saturday, September 24, 2011

shami kabab awadhi style...




Kabab is minced meat patty spiced delicately to bring up an aromatic finesse to a melt in your mouth texture of meat . I cannot come up with any other fitting description for this simple looking food. It has transcended generations and has perfected it's form over time . Some variations of kabab have come to the point of perfection and have stopped 'getting perfected' ...... shami kababs and galouti kababs of Lucknow come in the same category. Eating kababs in any of the old Luckow eateries can give you a taste of how a centuries old recipe can take you to heaven , talk of the famous Tundey ke kabab or any other joint around the place....

We sometimes try and touch a fraction of that tradition and thank ourselves to be able to feel the heavens with eyes closed...kababs are such food.....served as starters , main course or even snacks you can't deny when a platter has a possibility of hitting your table any time of the day...

For a meal these kababs are served with ulte tawe ka paratha ( a thin layered flatbread baked on an inverted round bottom pan and smeared with ghee while being baked , pressing it all the while) , along with some green chutney and slices of onion.....if you are eating at Tundey ke kabab or any other joint in old Lucknow...

At home we like it with thin chapatis , rolled with some sliced onions with a dash of lime juice...

The kababs are out of this world anyways , just the minced meat mixture should be perfect. Lightly spiced so the meat flavors are not overpowered by other elements and still some aromatic spicing to enhance the delicate meat. Chana daal works as a binder which is almost neutral in taste when boiled along with the minced meat ...

I normally boil the minced meat with chana daal and grind it beforehand so the making of kabab when required is convenient . The boiled mixture is ground to paste and kept inside the fridge so it gets a bit thicker in consistency, to be able to shape into patties. So if you plan to make it for dinner , do the boiling and grinding in the morning and if you like it as a weekend brunch, like we had it, do the preparation in the previous night. The ground paste can stay in the fridge for a couple of days so you can use it accordingly.

ingredients....
( makes about a dozen kababs)
minced meat (goat meat) 300gm
chana daal(split chickpeas) 2 heaped tbsp
salt to taste

To be ground with boiled meat...
black cardamom 1 medium sized
green cardamom 2
cloves 4 nos
cinnamon stick 1/2 inch pc.
shahi jeera(caraway seeds) a generous pinch
black peppercorns 15 nos.

To be mixed with the paste...
finely diced onions 1/3 cup
finely dices green chillies 1 tbsp
finely chopped ginger 1 tbsp or more if you like
finely chopped green coriander leaves 2 tbsp
finely chopped mint leaves a pinch

ghee to fry the kabas(3-4 tbsp will be enough for these many kababs)

procedure....

First of all wash the chana daal and dunk it in the pressure cooker along with minced meat and salt to taste. Add 3/4 cup of water and pressure cook for 5 minutes after the whistle blows, turning to low heat after the whistle. Let the pressure release, open the lid and cook without the lid till all the water evaporates...


The ground or minced meat can be cooked in a covered pan too, it will take more time to cook in that case and you might need to check it in between and add water if required.

Now, grind the cooked mixture with the spices listed for grinding with the paste.

It's time to tell you my little secret , normally people do it the way i told but i boil all the whole spices listed here along with the minced meat and chana daal and that makes the kababs much more delicate. This way the spices are just perfectly mild and aromatic and blended well with the base...


Empty the paste into a mixing bowl and keep in the fridge so that it gets a bit thicker in consistency ... It should hold it's shape when scooped with a spoon...


You need the chopped onions, green chillies, ginger and coriander and mint leaves not at the time of shaping and frying the kababs .. you can use lesser onions if you like but chopped green chillies and ginger add a lot to the final taste . As does the green coriander and a hint of mint.


Add these chopped bits to the paste , shape into small flat patties and shallow fry using ghee.
 No other oil should be used for kababs as it makes a lot of difference in final taste. Commercial joints use hydrogenated oils to get the crisp texture , beware of that....at home ghee is the best bet...


Turn when the kababs get browned on one side ....shallow fry both sides till they get a nice brown crust , a crisp crust and well set but softer interior makes a great kabab...you may want t turn them 2-3 times both sides for repeated slow browning....medium heat is a must...


Serve with lots of onion rings and lemon wedges...with parathas or plain chapatis...


A green chutney made with coriander leaves, mint , green chillies and some garlic is an optional dip served with kababs  we like it just with a squeeze of lime and lots of onion rings ....

Wrapped in a chapati, it makes a nice kathi roll ...... we had a nice and warm mug of thin tomato soup to go with it....


Kababs are not a realm of non vegetarians only. You can make kababs with soy granules or with zamikand or yam (elephant yam) if you are a vegetarian , other mixed vegetable kababs do not come close to it. Only the brown pulp of zamikand makes a nice vegetarian kabab if it is not soy granules . Although that is strictly my own opinion.....many people like kababs made with cauliflowers and other vegetables also.

Hara bhara kabab or hariyali kabab is another vegetarian kabab i like which is made with boiled green peas and a generous helping of steamed spinach leaves...that reminds me it's been ages since i made a nice hara bhara kabab ...come winters i am game for a hara bhara (all green) season :)

What kind of kababs do you like? 

7 comments:

  1. Dear Sangeeta
    I often make Sammi Kebab. But never used chopped onion, etc . I will try your way next time.

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  2. This gonna be my meal today thnks for he recipe :)

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  3. very nice easy to understand and well demonstrated i will try very soon

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  4. Thanks for sharing the recipe Sangeeta; bookmarked!

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  5. Wow...thats a wonderful dish!!!! Slurrp!!

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  6. Looks so yum n nice pics and am so glad to find your blog ....

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  7. THIS IS LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    Bikram's

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