My mother made some spectacular mutton kebabs last weekend. She claims to have made these many a times when we were children and was surprised that I had no memories of eating this before last weekend. She made these again this weekend just so that I could capture it for the blog. What is interesting about this recipe is that the kebab is made from mutton pieces which are boiled with loads of masalas and then hand ground and shaped into kebabs. The meat and masalas were ground on a stone that has been in the family for over three generations. It belonged to my father’s grandmother who passed it on to my grandmother who then gave it to my mother. I recall keenly observing many a helps sitting on the floor and making a paste out of poppy seeds, mustard seeds, ginger-garlic and also trying my hand at it the minute they got up to tend to something else. It looked like a lot of fun.
Now that I do a whole lot of cooking, I prefer shortcuts and recipes that are quick to put together. I made these kebabs myself a few weeks ago and I whole-heartedly admit that the ones made by my mother are infinitely better. My mother has agreed to give me a spare stone she has so that I can use it to make hand ground masalas. I guess they do make a difference to the flavour and texture of a dish.
Here’s the recipe:
1) 1 kg mutton pieces
2) 7-8 dried red chillies
3) 1 tbsp peppercorns
4) 500 gms onion (thinly sliced and fried till they are translucent)
5) 125 gms channa dal
6) 1 tbsp jeera
7) 6-7 cardamoms
8) 2 -3 one inch sticks of cinnamon
9 ) 50 gms chopped ginger
10) 7-8 cloves of garlic
12) 2 beaten eggs
13) 1 tbsp chicken masala/garam masala
14) 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
15) 2 tbsps finely chopped coriander
1. Place ingredients 1-11 along with salt in a pressure cook and cook for about 4-5 whistles.
2. Drain the stock and let the masalas and the meat cool down. You can use the stock to make shorba. In fact, you could sip it just as it is as it quite flavoursome.
3. Remove the meat and discard the bones. Then grind the masalas and the meat. Avoid grinding it into a very fine paste so that the kebab has a bite to it. Don’t use water while grinding.
4. Heat a tbsp of oil, add the ground meat mixture and sprinkle chilli powder, chicken masala, and coriander. Cook this so as to dry the mixture out. The mixture must not be too wet as it will then make it difficult for us to shape into kebabs.
5. Cool the mixture and then shape into kebabs. Dip in egg and then shallow/deep fry and serve with a green chutney.
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 tsp jeera powder
2 green chillies
1/2 tsp sugar
2 – 3 tbsps curd
Salt to taste
Grind all these ingredients finely for the chutney and serve with the kebabs.