Thursday, January 17, 2008

Alf’s Shammi Kebabs

When we lived in Mumbai, every Sunday evening, my father would take the whole family for an outing. All of us would look forward to the outing. My father would enjoy the cool evening breeze and just wind down from the chaos of the weekday. My mum would take a break from running the house. My brothers and I would look forward to eating at a restaurant or better still, chowing down some delicious street food. Popular choices in the Colaba area in Mumbai were Bade Miya for some yummy baida (egg) parathas, Kailash Parbat for some cold pani puri and Delhi Darbar for some awesome Indian Chinese or Mughalai food. Delhi Darbar was one of my favorite joints for Mughalai food.

The one thing I would always order was their Mutton Shammi Kabab.
It came with 2 big patties and was a starter on the menu, but it was a meal for a kid like me. It was a beautiful blend of whole spices and mincemeat, which was then dipped in egg batter and fried. The egg batter made it crispy on the outside, and the mincemeat was smooth and luxurious inside. I tried many different recipes to get something similar to the Shammi Kabab at DD. But nothing came close.

When I was in India about a year or so ago, Alf, an old friend, invited me over to her place for lunch and to catch up. She and I were in college together and many a time we would hang out at each other’s place and sometimes even have an impromptu cooking session. We would just go about putting spices and whatever ingredients were available to us at that time. Most of the time, we were delighted, or rather surprised, by the new invention. At lunch, in spite of her hectic schedule, there was Chicken Biryani and these fabulous Shammi kebabs. I was pretty sure that she bought these kebabs from some restaurant and asked her, “so where did you buy these kababs from?” She replied, “I made them.” My eyes popped, as these were home made and tasted just like the ones I had at DD. I had to get the recipe from her. It’s been almost 2 years since, and I have made these countless times. Each time I made them, I remember having the kebabs at DD and I can’t thank my friend enough for her delicious recipe. Thanks Alf, these are just too good…

Alf’s Shammi Kebabs

  • ½ kilo lamb mince meat
  • 2 tbsp Masoor dal
  • 2tbsp Chana dal
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 potatoes chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp red chili powder (reduce the spice to your liking)
  • 1” cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • ¼ tsp peppercorns
  • ½ cup or more of fine semolina/rava
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • Coriander chopped

Wash mince and let it drain in a colander. Wash the lentils.

In a pressure cooker, mix all the ingredients except the coriander, eggs and rava. Add ½ cup of water and salt and let it cook for 5-6 whistles on a high flame. Reduce the heat and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Let it cool.

Open the cooker and check if there is any water, cook/bhuno till the water evaporates and the mixture becomes dry. Stir continuously. Empty it on a plate and spread the mixture to cool it. Add the chopped coriander. Mash the mixture with a potato masher or your clean hands (the best tools in the kitchen). There should be no lumps or trace of the potatoes and tomatoes. Now roll to the preferred size. Coat the kababs in semolina/rava and dip it in the beaten egg and shallow fry it till golden and crisp. Serve hot.


sra said...

Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog. I love these kababs, the meat cutlets I've eaten in Parsi restaurants look like this.

my comfort food said...

Thanks for visiting my blog sra. I like your blog and visit it often.

bee said...

kailash parbat, bade miyan ... i remember them all. i wanna go back now.

my comfort food said...

Thanks for visiting my site bee. I am a big fan of your site, and read your articles, book reviews, love your pictures and recipes too.

Anonymous said...

Hi My Comfort Food, I miss India desperately and specially the fluffy jalidar mince cutlets we used to get at Ideal Corner and other Irani restaurants in Fort area. The smell of those and the nest like outside coating bring tears to my eyes. If anyone can share the exact recipe of those or email it to, I will be forever grateful to you because I cannot make the trip to India and really miss these.