Sheekh kawabs are quite interesting and fun finger foods to prepare, and very versatile too. I love to mix and match and play with a variety of ingredients to flavor the sheekh kawabs and alter the tastes deliciously for a change. I had also posted an another version of sheekh kawabs a few months back. The main ingredients in todays version of sheekh kawabs are dhaniya/cilantro and hari mirch/green chillies, lending a faint tangy yet fresh flavor to them. These kababs are sure to whet your taste buds.
Marinate the meat in the spice mixture for atleast 6-8 hours or overnight for the best results, so that it absorbs all the flavors and the meat gets tender. One of my close friends S was telling me that she sun-dries the peels of very raw young papaya and once completely dry, powders them to store in jars in cool dark place at room temperature. It has a long shelf life. She added that she uses about a pinch or two of this powder as a tenderizer for the meat and leaves it to marinate for delicate melt in mouth kawabs. This I thought is a useful tip to share with my readers.
Sheekh Kababs – Minced meat Kebabs (II)
Makes: 15-18, enough for a large gathering
Dry roasted and powdered Cumin seeds/Zeera – 1/2 tsp
Dry roasted and powdered Coriander seeds/Dhaniya – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies/Hari mirch – 8, roughly chopped
Lean Lamb meat (boneless) – 900 gms, cubed into bite size pieces (or) Minced Lamb/Veal meat – 900 gms
Thick yogurt – 2 tbsp
Chopped blanched almonds – 1 tbsp
Turmeric/Haldi – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Egg -1, large
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Khoa – 1 tbsp
Raw papaya skin paste – 2 tbsp
Roughly chopped Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 cup, loosely packed
Lemon zest – 1/2 tsp
Kawabs ready to be grilled
1. Wash the meat and drain it well till all the water has been removed completely and the meat is dry. This is important or else the shape does not come out very well.
2. If using meat cubes, add the meat to a food processor along with all the other ingerdients and pulse just until the meat is minced. Do not make it into a paste. Transfer the minced meat into a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients and mix/knead well using hands. If using minced meat, simply mix/knead it with all other ingredients until well combined in a mixing bowl. Cover and let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight for for minimum 2 hours.
3. The next day bring it back to room temperature. Dip your fingertips in a little canola oil and smear you palms with it. Take a large lemon size ball of the meat mixture in your hands and shape it into a sausage. Insert a metal skewer into it to make hole all the way through it. Enlarge the hole by rotating the kawab a few times around the skewer. Remove the skewer and place the kawab on a greased baking pan lined with aluminium foil. Keep repeating until the whole mixture is used up.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the baking tray uncovered in the middle rack. Turn the kawabs once after 15 mins. Let cook for a furthur 15 mins. Serve warm.
Suggested Accompaniments: For a simple meal, serve these kawabs warm along with Khatti dal and Khushka. You could also serve it along with Dalcha, Baghara khana and a salad for a party meal, or simply along with a chutney as a snack.
Tip: Leftovers? Chop up the two Kawabs roughly and keep aside. Warm a pita bread, cut it onto halves, open it up and add some chopped fresh lettuce, cucumber, sliced avocado, tomato, and the chopped kawabs. Add a few drops of Chipotle hot sauce and some low-fat yogurt as topping. Serve these delicious pita pockets immediately.