Behari Kababs !
Which meat loving South Asian doesn’t relish them ? In fact, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has called them, the ‘finest’ kebabs in his food memoirs.
I grew up watching on very special occasions, my mother prepare and barbeque these Kebabs very diligently on and with much effort, on a charcoal grill. All I remember was that it was a great hard work. And hence, for many, Behari Kebabs is a delicacy to be eaten in restaurants, as cooking them at home is very cumbersome.
I too believed so, till once, I thought of experimenting them in the convenience of my kitchen, in the electric oven. I made them with wooden skewers, and the first attempt wasn’t bad at all. Second time, it was for a dinner party, and the guests could not believe they were homemade, till my husband showed them the oven, tray and the wooden skewers on which they were made.
I moved on, more confident. Got custom made, iron skewers that fit my tray size in the oven. As I have moved cities, these iron skewers have obediently moved with me too.
Warning: Instead of red meat, I make them here with white meat, and instead of a charcoal grill, I grill them in an oven. Nevertheless, can assure you, they are a different delicacy in their own right.
Chicken breasts 1 kg
( each sliced into 4 thin fillet)
Onions: 4 medium sized
Ginger : 100gms
Garlic: One whole,
(peeled into cloves)
Green Papaya: 100gms.
Spices: Cumin, coriander, and red chilli powders, and salt to taste.
Mustard Oil- 1 Cup
Fried Browned onions: 2tbsp
(P.S. Some add yogurt, but I don’t.)
All the ingredients except the chicken breasts are made into a paste in the grinder. Pour the paste into a wide bowl, and mix in Mustard oil.
Once arranged 4-5 fillets, fold to close the open end of the plastic bag, And pound them with a wooden pound to make them softer, and such that the spice paste seeps into the fillet..
Take them out of the plastic bag, one by one, to mount on the iron skewers. My skewers seen here are about a feet long, specially made to fit my baking tray.
Mount the fillets on the skewers, piercing the iron rod, through the flesh of the fillets at 2-3 inches apart, then gathering them closer.
Arrange the skewers on the baking tray adjacent to each other.
When ready, serve them hot, with pickled onions, yogurt sauce and chutneys. Naans and parathas go equally well with these Kebabs.
The children are fond of taking the left overs to school, rolled in a naan as Kebab rolls.
P.S. The blog has been diligently made for a Kebab loving and Kebab cooking fellow Delhiite Parshu Narayanan.🙂