Mutton shami kababs or kabobs; is a family favorite.....my husband's favorite to be precise...my mom-in-law handed down the recipe soon after our marriage and I have been making this ever since.
The best thing about shami kababs is its subtle smoky flavor.....its that smokiness that induces you to it...you can make this with beef too, but mutton is preferred. Shami kababs are quite common in North India than down South....I have tried this at restaurants but not even one has the smoky flavor/aroma which is what maketh Shami Kababs.
Meat is cooked with lentil and added with spices and then a small piece of coal is burned to piping red hot, it is then put into the meat and drizzled with a tsp of ghee/clarified butter and immediately covered so that the smoke stays right in.....infused into the kababs....and that maketh shami kababs...unique from all the other kababs.....since I couldn't get not even a small piece of coal here....I just cracked a coconut shell and used that instead of coal.....Bengal gram dal is cooked with meat and garlic and spices....to give its uniqe distinct flavor.
Since I gave up meat and fish for Lent; this was made on the Sunday before Lent began......along with Hyderabadi Prawns Biriyani....if any more fish and meat recipes finds a place here before Easter; then you know that it was from the drafts.......30 more days for Easter.
Author: Nisa Homey.
To be cooked with the meat:
Mutton (boneless): 500 gm.
Bengal gram dal: 75 gm.
Garlic: 2 pods.
Kashmiri Chilly powder: 2 tbsp, (if using ordinary chilly powder reduce by half)
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Cinnamon: 1 stick.
Cloves: 4 to 5.
Cardamon: 3 or 4.
Water and salt as needed.
To be mixed with the cooked meat:
Onion: 2, chopped.
Mint leaves: 1 sprig, chopped.
Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 2 sprigs, chopped.
Green chilly: 1 or 2, chopped (depending on your spice level).
Egg: 1, beaten.
Lime juice: 1 tbsp.
Oil for frying, (I used rice bran oil).
One sliced onion and half a lime to garnish.
Cook the meat with bengal gram dal, garlic, Kashmiri chilly powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamon in a pressure cooker, add water and salt as needed. After one whistle simmer for 15-20 min. Allow it come to room tempt.
Grind/mince the cooked meat in a food processor.
To make it easy; I added the onion, green chilly, cilantro, and mint leaves into this and pulsed. Alternatively you can also chop them up and mix with the meat.
Transfer this back to the pressure cooker (with which you cooked the meat).
Now to infuse the smoky flavor....take a small piece of coal or if you do not have coal, just break a coconut shell.
Take one piece and put it on top of your burner. Let it get really burnt and black.
Put the burning coal / coconut shell piece with the help of a tong into a small steel bowl....you have to work fast.
And place it in the cooker/vessel where you have kept the minced meat Or you can keep the small bowl in the pressure cooker and put the burning coal into it......immediately drizzle a tsp of ghee/clarified butter on to the burning coal at that moment the fire will burn out and smoke will come out and we have to trap that smoke....so as soon as you pour the ghee close the cooker or vessel with a lid...so that the smoke will not get out....leave it for 10 minutes....then open and make into small round patties.
Heat oil and shallow fry both sides in an iron skillet.
Serve hot with freshly sliced onion and lime.
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