Shami Kababs

Ma used to make these sometimes, to serve with soup in the winter months or sometimes on Holi.

I was pleased that the ones I made yesterday for the boulangerie tasted quite like the ones I remember from all those years ago.

I have adapted the recipe here from the one in chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s “Khana Khazana”.

I decided to add an egg for binding the kabab mixture, though the original recipe does not require this, since the mixture seemed rather dry and I thought this might cause the kababs to break on frying. I also used a little more lime juice than the original recipe mentions because when Indira tasted a kabab from the trial lot I made last week, she thought a little more lime juice would be nice.

She was right -the kababs I made yesterday definitely benefited from that.

Shami Kababs

350-400 gms of chicken mince

1/3 cup of split pea lentils, soaked in warm water for 4-5 hours

1 and 1/2 teaspoons each of finely chopped ginger and garlic

1 large onion, chopped very fine

2 tablespoons each of finely chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves (or a little less)

about 1 and a 1/2  tablespoons of lime juice

1 egg

2 tablespoons of oil

1/2 a teaspoon of cummin seeds

2 pods of black cardamom

1/2  a teaspoon each of garam masala powder and Kashmiri red chili powder (or  stronger variety if you like)

1/2 teaspoon, or a little more, of coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon of green cardamom powder

salt to taste

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the cummin seeds and the black cardamom, fry for a few seconds and then add the ginger and garlic and fry these for half a minute. Now add the chicken, drained lentils and about 1 and a 1/2 cups of water. When the water begins to boil, cover the pan, turn down the heat and cook till the lentils are completely soft, stirring the mixture occasionally. Then remove the cover and cook the mixture on slightly higher heat till all the water has dried up.

Leave the mixture to cool, then grind it to a smooth paste. Take it out in a large bowl, add the onions, the herbs, the lime juice, the salt,  the spices and the egg (whisk it in a small bowl very lightly with a fork first, to blend the white and the yolk) , mix thoroughly and leave in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Divide the mixture in to equal portions – this quantity will make about 15 – and form these in to little patties. Shallow fry the kababs till they are nicely browned and crisp on both sides.

I made a tomato chutney for the boulanger to serve with the kebabs and he told me today that his customers liked that too.

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