Making kababs is considered quite a delicate art as well as a daunting task, a territory that many of us home cooks dread entering into. But those who have taken the first steps towards kabab making have never stopped at one I must tell you. Even vegetarian kababs can be made so delicious and special that can lift up a meal by a few notches. And that too with not so much of effort trust me.
I know you must be thinking one can always order kababs and biryanis by any of the specialised places around town famous for home deliveries of such foods. Yes one can always order or takeaway great kababs, biryanis and kormas when one can't handle cooking for a large gathering sometimes, there is always Foodpanda at your fingertips, they are even collaborating with NGOs making sure children's access to food, education and health. I like a business that supports social causes, so go ahead and order good food when you want to.
That apart, an intimate family meal becomes special when you cook together in the kitchen and eat together at the table you would agree. Cooking is such a life skill everyone should have, some might take it to another level with special skills to cook a few complicated recipes too.
And if you still fear cooking you can always look out for masterclasses. In Delhi we have Radison Blu Plaza where they conduct Masterclasses often. I have attended a wonderful Thai masterclass by Thai Chef Suthiwaja at Neung Roi and their first Masterclass at The Great Kabab Factory, the iconic restaurant known for kababs and Indian Mughlai cuisine, that I attended was a huge success. Chef Miraj ul Haque who hails from Lucknow, patiently taught us six different kababs and tikkas, one of them being a very interesting chaat style grilled fruit tikka with pineapples and apples.
The class was house full, a bunch of men and women learnt the tricks and tips followed by a lunch that included the dishes we learnt and a few more specialties of the Chef Miraj.
He taught us Hyderabadi Shammi kabab, Kasoondi tawa machhi, Bhatti ka murgh, Bharwan dahi ke kabab, Sev aur ananas ki chaat and Kathal ke tikkey. The way Chef Miraj teaches the techniques, the tips to stuff the kababs with a filling that enhances flavours, marination and grilling techniques is commendable. I liked the idea of the Kathal ke tikkey.
The Sev aur Ananas ki chaat was another winner, a chaat (and more spices) doused platter of fruits that has been grilled lightly is something you can't resist, I actually had second and third helpings of the spicy grilled pineapples.
Dahi ke kababs were good too, but I would have liked them a little more soft. But the techniques that dahi ka kabab involves were taught really well, the textures you can always tune to your taste and preference.
At lunch we ate the best Galuti kabab that you find outside Lucknow.
Bhatti ka murgh that came to my plate was quite raw from inside, but the service at The Great Kabab Factory is so good they promptly replaced it with a well done piece of Bhatti ka muurgh which is deliciously smoky and earthy. Thumbs up to the service.
The biryani, the breads and the daals are also good but I would advise you to stick to kababs more to enjoy eating and still not feel stuffed.
As I said you would like to go easy on breads and biryanis at this restaurants, saving some space for the desserts. The kulfi is fabulous and the jalebi is thin and crisp just like they make in UP and Amritsar. Rajbhog is also made really well, reminding me of the Odiya Rajbhog, too sweet for my taste but that is how Rajbhog is.
Paan is served to round off the meal, the tradition that indicates good food has to be pleasant on the stomach, paan helps in digestion and works as a mouth freshener too. I like places that serve paan after a meal.
The mind always finds Banaras connections.
Head over to the next masterclass they are conducting at The Great Kabab Factory, Radison Blu Plaza at Mahipalpur on 25th of April and thank me later. It will be worth your time and money trust me. Chef Miraj ul Haque has magic in his fingers, watch him shaping the kababs and see how much love and passion goes into cooking good food.