As usual…..I did the vanishing act, again 🙂 but have a good reason for that this time…Ma and Baba were here to stay with us in Melbourne…Oh! What a wonderful time we had together…visiting Tasmania where we went to Hobart, the 2nd oldest settlement of Australia and New Norfolk (a rusty old town rich in Antique shops dating back to World War II). We traveled a lot in the last few months, but in between I did cook..Baba and Ma, as you guys know, love variety and I wanted them to taste everything that isn’t easily available in India…from quails to new fish varieties like salmon, snapper, etc.., from veggies and fruits like fennel, butternut pumpkin, celery, persimmon, to ‘strange’ foods like raw oysters and mussels. In the next few posts I will share some of the recipes I that I made for them.
To start with lemme write about Shikampuri Kebab. Now the Mughals are praised for bringing in the concept of kebab to India. But it seems making kebab in different forms was a well-established tradition in India. The Rajputs made ‘Suley’ or smoked kebabs with the game meat they brought in from their hunting expeditions. To preserve the meat they would spice & pickle it and then cook it the next day over an open fire in the forest. When the Mughals came, they brought in their version of the kebabs and introduced the use of dried fruit, fragrances such as rose and kewda and nuts with the meat.
Interesting eh?! Anyways, going back to the post, here is the recipe.
Shikampuri Kebab (for 10-15 pieces)
500gms Mutton (from the leg) or Chicken mince
1/3 cup Chana daal (split Bengal gram lentil) – soaked for 4-5 hours
1 Tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
3-4 Green chillies (or as per taste)
4 Black cardamom
4 Bay leaves
4 Cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup Yoghurt
3-4 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 – 1.5 Tbsp Garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 cups Hung Yoghurt or crumbled Feta Cheese
Fistful of raisins & chopped cashew
2-3 Green chillies, finely chopped
1/3 cup Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Oil or ghee to fry
Refrigerate the hung yoghurt overnight for it to get firm. Pressure cook/open pot cook the meat and lentil with all spices, except the yoghurt. I give very little water in this, like maybe 1/2 cup and once the meat is cooked, I drain the water out. One can also keep cooking the meat till the water has evaporated. Once cooked, discard the whole spices. Grind the meat till it reaches a dough like consistency. Then add the yoghurt, garam masala powder, half of the coriander & mint leaves and the lime juice to the ground meat and mix well. Then divide the meat mix into 15 equal parts (please tailor the size as per wish). In another bowl crumble the feta or the hung yoghurt, mix salt (if its yoghurt), nuts, the remaining mint and coriander and some chopped green chillies.
I rolled small balls of the yoghurt; this makes it easier to stuff. Make the kebab as in the picture, then lightly roast them on a tawa or non-stick pan with very less oil/ghee. You can also dip the kebabs in a egg white, and then fry. I like the former method, as it keeps the meat soft and when you take a bite into the kebab the entire piece melts in the mouth!!!
Feel like having some right now!! Must make it again. In the meanwhile would love to hear from you guys (Didi and Daibi).