Sunday, October 21, 2012

Seekh Kabab

Seekh kababs are my favorite variety of kababs. Grilled on skewers also known as seekh, until juicy and succulent, they're just mouth watering.
The seekh is a round metal skewer, however I used bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water (to prevent them from burning when grilling).
You can use any kind of ground meat for this - beef, lamb or chicken. But it should not be too lean, or it will become too dry. So make sure it has some amount of fat in it. They will melt into juices when its cooking, and the excess will drip down.
This weekend, our neighbor took us to a meat packing company at Sussex, NJ. I bought a pound of ground sirloin (beef). It looked so beautiful, that I decided to try out seekh kababs for the first time.
Since I don't have an outdoor grill yet, I broiled it in the oven. They need to be cooked at the highest temperatures possible. Traditionally, seekh kebabs are grilled in a tandoor (clay oven), that has temperatures as high as 800°F. As ovens cannot be this hot, crank it up to the highest possible.
Another thing to note is that the final mixture should not be too moist, or it will not hold onto the skewers. So make sure you absorb most of the moisture from the ground meat in some kitchen towels.
This recipe was inspired by vahchef.

Ground beef - 1 lb (500 gm)
Red onion - 1/2 medium
Garlic - 4 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Green chilli - 1 or 2
Grated cheese - a handful (optional)
Parsley or Cilantro - small bunch, about 10 sprigs
Mint leaves - a handful
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp or to taste
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Egg - 1
Lemon juice - from half a lemon
Salt to taste
Bread crumbs - optional (see note)
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water - 10

Preheat oven to the highest temperature or on broil.
Chop onion, garlic ginger and green chilli finely. Or run it through a food processor. Collect it in a mixing bowl. Add grated cheese, finely chopped parsley or cilantro (or use small amounts of both), finely chopped mint leaves, red chilli powder, garam masla and coriander powder and mix it. Add ground meat and thoroughly mix everything together by hand. This is so therapeutic, trust me! Sprinkle enough salt, squeeze lemon juice, and break an egg into this mixture. Continue kneading this mixture.
Note: If you feel that the mixture is too moist, add bread crumbs or chickpea flour (besan) to this. It will help making the mixture more dry.
Let the mixture marinate for about 15 mins. If you want, you can prepare this in advance and allow it to marinate overnight.
Take a lemon sized ball of the mixture.

Push it through a skewer.

Using your fingers, work it along the length of the skewer to form a long kebab.

Place these skewers across a rectangular cake pan, or on a baking sheet.

Place it on the top rack of the oven, and cook until done, around 12-15 mins. You can also grill these beauties on an outdoor grill.
Serve with lime wedges and coriander-mint chutney mixed with yoghurt.

Or serve over a bed of cumin rice.