No wedding banquet in Hyderabad in earlier days were witnessed sans Luqmi in the menu, as a starter paired along with Qimah Kawab. Today other sophisticated entrées make their appearance on the wedding banquet tables. Luqmi is not much seen so nowadays, but it not forgotten, it is still one of every Hyderabadis most favorite snack.
Luqmi has Persian origins, and now is a popular Hyderabadi snack. Other snacks like Osmania biscuit, Pauna chai, Irani chai, etc all have Persian origins and made a mark in Hyderabad. Irani cafes in Hyderabad, seen at every other corner, selling these snacks and refreshments are always crowded with locals. Luqmi is preferred as a starter in the menu, a rectangular parcel stuffed with sauteed minced mutton cooked with a hint of spices and a delicious lemony zing to please your palate.
My miya yesterday had requested me to prepare a few Luqmi for the إفطار and الحمد لله he loved them.
Qimah – Minced meat (the filling)
Qimah~Minced Veal/Lamb/Sheep meat – 700 gms
Onion -1, large, finely sliced
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Cilantro – 2 tbsp
Long green chillies – 3, chopped finely
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – 3 tbsp
Cashewnuts – chopped, handful
Qimah – Minced meat
In a large frying pan, pour oil and as soon as it warms up, add the onion and fry until evenly golden brown in color. Add the cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, cilantro and green chillies. Fry for a few seconds. Add the minced meat and cook mixing it well. Add the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix well and cook stirring frequently until all the moisture has been dried up. Pour lemon juice, and add the chopped cashewnuts, mix well and remove from heat. Let it cool down completely.
Luqmi – Minced meat stuffed parcels
Makes – 15 Luqmi
Whole wheat flour/Durum Atta – 2 1/2 cups+extra for dusting (you can also use All-Purpose flour/Maida instead)
Semolina/Sooji – 1/2 cup
Salt – 1 tsp
Yogurt – 1/3 cup
Warm water/milk – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Canola oil to deep fry
Luqmi – Minced meat stuffed parcels
1. In a mixing bowl, add all the above ingredients except ghee and oil and working with your fingers, form a soft dough. Add a few more sprinkles of warm water if needed to form the soft dough. Once the dough has formed into a ball, smear ghee and cover with a lid. Keep aside for 40 minutes.
2. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes. Form the dough into 30 equal size balls and cover them all with a damp kitchen towel. Also divide the prepared Qimah filling into 15 equal portions. Pour cool water into a cup and keep aside.
3. Dust with extra flour and roll out two dough balls, one at a time into 8 cm in diameter circle each, using your rolling pin on the work surface. Make sure the rolled out circles are not very thin, they should be just a little bit thick. Place a potion of the divided Qimah filling in the center of the rolled out dough circle. Dip your fingers into water and smear lightly on the entire outer edge of the dough circle. Gently place the second rolled out disc over the filling and press the edges of the dough circle to seal them. Using a pizza cutter cut out the extra outer edges of the dough to shape into a rectangle. (You can collect the scraps until the last luqmi is done and roll it out into a ball and repeat the procedure again). With your fingers, press the edges once again to make sure they are sealed. Crimp the edges with a fork to form a pattern. Repeat until all the luqmi is prepared. Keep them on a tray, covered with a towel, until all are ready to deep fry.
4. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai. Depending on the size of your kadai, you can fry the luqmi, one or two at a time, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove using a slotted spoon into a wire mesh strainer for the extra oil to drain away. Serve them warm.