Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reshmi Kebab

It was another Steak Night, and, oddly enough, I did not have any desire to have a steak.  It may have been all the Texas Barbecue Brisket and Baltimore Pit Beef that I have been eating recently.  It may have been that occasional desire to try to make something different.  Given how good the brisket and pit beef were, I will chalk it up to the latter reason. 

In any event, I was perusing some recipes on Saveur's website and I came across one for Reshmi Kebab.  These kebabs are a part of northern Indian cuisine.  They also became a part of  Mughlai cuisine, which was developed in the imperial kitchens of northern India (in regions such as Uttar Pradesh and Delhi).  Mughlai cuisine was strongly influenced by the Persians, which explains a lot.  Kebabs have a prominent place in the cuisine of Persia (or Iran).  I have made a couple different Persian kebabs, such as Kebab-e Jojeh (Chicken Kebabs) or Kebab-e Chenjeh (Lamb Kebabs).

While this dish may have Persian influences, its character is uniquely Indian.  These kebabs are made with minced or ground chicken and a wide array of fragrant ingredients common to Indian cuisine, such as garam masala, onions, garlic, cardamom, paprika and allspice.  The kebabs are supposed to be grilled over charcoal; however, I cooked them in the broiler.  I chose this alternative because I did not sufficiently flat and wide skewers to cook them on the grill and I thought the broiler would help to provide the characteristic char on the outside of the kebabs.

Recipe from Saveur.com
Makes 6 skewers

1 1/4 pound of ground chicken
2 tablespoons of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of hot paprika
1/4 cup of blanched almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of garam masala
3/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 yellow onion, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

1.  Prepare the kebabs.  In a bowl, mix chicken, garlic, ginger and paprika and let it sit for thirty minutes.  Place the almonds in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit for ten minutes.  Drain and puree in a food process with the cream, garam masala, cardamom, allspice and egg white.  Add to the chicken mixture.  Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onions and cook, stirring, until deeply caramelized for about eight minutes.  Stir the onions into the chicken mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.

2.  Cook the kebabs.  Build a charcoal fire in a grill (or heat the grill on medium-high or start the broiler in your oven).  Divide the chicken mixture into six portions, form each around the length of a flat metal skewer.  Grill (or broil) the chicken, turning, until charred, about four to five minutes. 


If you happen to have a couple of bottles of Taj Mahal or Kingfisher handy, then you are set for this dish.  If not, then look for a good pilsner or lager.


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