Thursday, 27 September 2012

making mama's chappal kababs

mama's kachay keemay kay kabab
last week i posted mama's kabab diaries on the blog. i wanted to maintain her recipes the way they had been written but she and i have rather different styles of writing them. i also figured that there would be some variation in the recipe when i make it in london. so we comapred notes on some of the ingredients that were likely to change. we went back and forth over the kind of cottage cheese to use as the one that you get in london is not a creamy crumbly one like you have in pakistan. after much deliberation i decided to make the recipe without the cottage cheese. the most important part of this recipe is the mince. if you are not using the cottage cheese use mince that is at least twenty per cent fat. i used aberdeen angus mince beef from waitrose and it worked perfectly. we both agreed that i should use more onion than the recipe calls for to maintain softness as that is what the cheese is meant to do. here are my notes on ilona's chappal kebab recipe. 

onion and ginger in the food processor
{mama's chappal kebabs}
adapted from ilona's chappal kebab recipe

five hundred grams good quality beef mince
two and a half small red onions, roughly chopped
a one inch piece of ginger
twenty five grams fresh coriander
twenty five grams mint
a fresh red or green chili, roughly chopped
a slice of white bread
one tablespoon of anar dana (pomegranate seeds)
one tablespoon coriander seeds
one and a half teaspoon salt
half a teaspoon chili flakes
an egg
oil to fry the kababs

place the beef mince in a large mixing bowl. 

blitz the onion and ginger with your food processor until it is finely chopped. add it to the beef mince.

now add the coriander, mint, chili, bread, anar dana and coriander seeds to the food processor and blitz until it is a finely chopped bright mess. add this to the mixing bowl along with the salt, chili flakes and eggs. 

herbs and chili in the food processor
a mess of brightness to cut through the mince
work the mixture with a gentle hand making sure that all the ingredients are well combined. once well mixed place the mixture in the fridge for around half an hour. this allows it to firm up making it easier to shape the patties. 

bringing it together
the kabab mixture
after half an hour take the mixture out and shape it into round patties about the size of a golf ball. the best way to form the patties is by dipping your hands in a bowl of cold water between each one. this is necessary to keep the moisture and seal any cracks. if there are cracks in the structure of the kebab it will disintegrate during the frying process and loose all its precious juices.

raw kababs
once all the kababs are ready place them in the fridge for an additional ten to fifteen minutes. once again this is to help keep them firm and allow for easy frying.

fry the kababs in hot shallow oil, about two tablespoons. the initial frying should be done over high heat, then lower to medium. flip the kababs after two minutes, then raise the heat for a few seconds so that the juices seal. lower the heat to medium and fry the underside for two to three minutes. there are two ways to be sure the kababs are done. either prick one with a fork, and if the juices run clear then it’s done. or lower the heat to medium low after frying as above and allow the kababs to fry for an extra two minutes, for good measure.

o and i had ours with mint chutney also based on mama's recipe. a little lacquer of sriracha intensified the heat. soft white toast accentuated the meatiness of them. they were so easy to make that i was left wondering why i had not made them before.

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