Yes, I know I’ve been a little missing in action. I hope you missed me. I’ll try to make it up to you with the next recipe. How about a time-honored succulent Mughlai treat to warm the cool winter days? I’m talking about our very own silken kebabs: Reshmi Kebab. They get their name from their velvety smoothness and balanced spices. Typically because of the cream, these kebabs are not extremely spicy, but if that’s the way you like your food, you can pump up the pepper level if you want. I have to give a hat tip to my lovely aunt (Pyari Mami) for experimenting with and coming up with this recipe in Dubai this summer and sharing it with me to try back here as well. This recipe is great because it doesn’t involve too many steps, yes a bunch of ingredients, but if you have everything there, preparation is pretty much limited to blitzing everything in a food processor. These kebabs do go the extra mile from a very simple smoking technique. You really don’t want to skip this step because the smoked flavor really adds the extra punch. It’s quite simple. You heat a small piece of charcoal on the stovetop and let the hot coal emit its smoke and permeate the minced chicken for a few minutes.
You can easily barbecue these over a grill or pan fry them with tiny amounts of oil. I grilled them stovetop with a cast iron skillet just coz I wanted the lovely grill marks you get on the kebabs from that. You have to keep oiling the skillet so that the kebabs don’t stick. Cast iron is better than a non stick skillet, I think it gives better heat and is more authentic.
Serve these delicious kebabs with hot naan, raita and chutney.
500 g Boneless Chicken
2 tbsp Chickpea Flour (Besan)
4 tbsp Dry Milk Powder
2 tbsp Ginger Paste
2 tbsp Garlic Paste
4 tbsp Cream
1/3 bunch Fresh Cilantro, chopped (consider this a handful)
1 1/2 tsp Salt (or more according to taste)
1/2 -1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or more according to taste)
8-10 Almonds, halved or grinded
3 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Lemon juice
3 tbsp Shredded Coconut Powder
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1 Small Onion
1. Wash and pat dry your boneless chicken.
2. Take a regular food processor and add all the ingredients to it together. Process until the meat is minced and the rest of the ingredients are mixed well in it.
3. Transfer the mince to a wide bowl. Make a well in the center and put a folded piece of foil in the center, sort of cupped. (This will hold the smoking charcoal). Have some extra foil ready to cover the bowl with, to lock the smoke in.
4. In the meantime, take a small piece of charcoal and put it directly on the stove’s flame. You know it is hot enough when the tops become grey and you can see bright orange specks on it.
5. Place the hot charcoal on the foil in the middle of the mince meat (use tongs!)
6. The next few steps you have to move quickly so you don’t lose the smoke. Take a tablespoon of oil and drop it on top of the charcoal, the smoke will release immediately, so you want to cover the bowl just as quickly.
7. Place a plate and something heavy over it to seal the bowl. If your bowl has a sealable top lid, then all the better. As you can see, I just used the big jar of besan to give it weight and hold it tightly shut.
8. You can leave this on the counter, or if the weather is really warm, just place it in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
9. Now you can shape the mince in oblong shaped kebabs or skewer them and fry, grill or barbecue these beauties until cooked. Enjoy them hot.