Kebab
Boti and seekh kebab platters, garnished with a pile of slivered onions and a pour of green mint are a treat

If there is one name that sends all mutton lovers into a salivating frenzy, it is the name barbeque.

While the word has come to be associated with any type of meat be it skewers or kebabs cooked over charcoal, in Kashmir the name has remained restricted to just toej or mutton skewers cooked over charcoal. 

The perfect analogy would be to compare them to the obnoxious Kashmiri bus drivers who keep pushing and pushing the passengers inside even when there are more than a dozen people hanging out from the door. Unlike Khayam Chowk, Makai Point overlooking Dal Lake does provide a decent sitting space to enjoy your barbeque with an amazing view of the Dal Lake but to enjoy your barbeque you need to fish out a little more than an average toej purchased from a roadside toej seller will cost.

Barbecue is probably the world’s oldest cooking method.  It has come a long way from the traditional pit BBQ that originated in the Caribbean to the great Indian tandoor. Since Eid ul Azha or what Kashmiris call as Qurban Eid is just around the corner and it is the best time for barbeque given the good amount of fresh and tender mutton available at every house, Khyen Chyen brings to you the many varieties of barbeque and how you can prepare them right at your home to enjoy a perfect barbeque evening.

First things first, for any good barbeque the most importance step is to heat your charcoal and oil the grill on top so that the meat doesn’t stick. A perfect barbeque never touches the fire directly. Instead it smokes and cooks slowly over the charcoal.

The next important thing to bear in mind while barbequing is to not poke the meat a lot as it releases the juices and you end up with charred and chewy mutton. A perfect barbeque should burst with juices as soon as you bite into it.

Let the Kebabs roll this Eid
Let the Kebabs roll this Eid

Another important thing to pay attention to is the marinade or the seasonings that you need to rub onto your meats. Like they say, a perfect seasoning can make or break your barbeque game. Also, no matter what type of marinade you choose, try to get the meat in the mixture at least 24 hours ahead of time to allow the meat to soak in all the delightful aromas and flavours from the seasoning. Now that we are done explaining about the nitty-gritty of barbeque, let us get into some delicious recipes that will make for certain make your relatives crown you the barbeque King or Queen.

Guilt Free BBQ Mutton Recipe:

  • Ingredients:
  • Mutton cut into small pieces.
  • One small onion
  • 5-6 red chillies
  • 5 garlic pods
  • ½ cup lemon juice or vinegar
  • Salt as per taste
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian herbs mixture
  • Cook Time: 01 Hour
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Method:

  • Bash the mutton pieces with a rolling pin or a meat mallet.
  • Grind a small onion, 5-6 red chillies and 5 garlic pods into a paste. Sauté this paste in oil
  • for a few minutes.
  • Take ½ a cup lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl and season it with some salt and red chilli powder. Add a tsp. of fennel powder to it and ½ a tsp of Italian herb mixture.
  • Now pour this liquid into the onion paste and reduce this on fire for 20 minutes, and your BBQ sauce is ready.
  • Now marinate the mutton pieces with this sauce, preferably overnight. Put in on the heated griddle and brush with oil. Let the mutton grill for about half an hour if you like it medium rare and for 45 mins if you like it completely done.
Toej
Toej or mutton skewers cooked over charcoal is most popular in Kashmir.

2. Reshmi Tikka kebab

Cook Time: 50 Minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 250 gms of mutton mince
  • 1 tsp refined oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 50 gm malai
  • 50 gm curd
  • 1 lemons
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the garam masala:
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5-6 green cardamom
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 6 cloves

Method:

For the garam masala:

In a pan, dry roast cumin, coriander powder, black pepper, green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

Grind them in a mortar and pestle.

For the tikka:

  • In a bowl, add the mutton mince, refined oil, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, malai, curd, juice of 1/2 a lemon, the prepared garam masala and salt. Mix them well together. Keep them in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven for 20 minutes at 180 C. Shape into a kabab
  • Roast the prepared kabab in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove them from oven and squeeze half lime over it.
  • Serve hot.

3. Mutton Shashlik Recipe:

Total Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm boneless mutton/beef cut into fairly large cubes
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup yogurt (dahi)
  •  Chilli powder to taste
  • 1 tsp powdered garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp powdered coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2-3 capsicums
  • 2 onions
  • 3-4 tomatoes skewers oil to brush chaat masala to garnish

Method:

  • Prick meat cubes and marinate in garlic, ginger, yogurt, chilli powder, black pepper, chilli powder, coriander powder, and salt. Leave for 7 hours or overnight.
  • Cut capsicum, onions and tomatoes to match the meat cubes.
  • Thread a piece of tomato, onion and capsicum into the skewer and follow that with a cube of meat.
  • Repeat thus having 3-4 pieces of meat sandwiched with the vegetables on each skewer.
  • Pour whatever juices there may be left over the prepared shashlik skewers and place over a drip tray.
  • Brush with oil.
  • Grill the skewers slowly over charcoal while brushing with oil every now and then, till cooked through and browned at the edges.

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SOURCE: Najwa Shabir

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