I spent five years of my college life in Lucknow. Back then, I did not have the financial independence, nor the courage to roam about in the city as freely as I can today. Lucknow is mainly known for its mughlai cuisine and kebabs. A visit to one of their famous joints “Dastarkhwan” gave me my first taste of their Galawati Kebabs, popularly known as Tundey Kebabs. The soft kebabs coupled with the aromatic spices literally melted in my mouth. Back in Kolkata, I next tasted the Galawati Kebabs at Oudh and Deraa, both fine dining restaurants, however, I pretty missed how cheap and tasty the Galawati at Lucknow would be!
I finally took the leap of faith and attempted recreating the Lucknawi speciality at my place. Trust me, I was not disappointed. You just need to assemble all the products and marinate it well. That is the key to super soft kebabs. These kebabs are paired with “ulte tawa” ka parantha, which is a thinly rolled parantha baked in a tawa, only that the tawa is inverted on the fire.
I have already decided to prepare this when I have guests visiting me for lunch or dinner. In fact, you can also prepare them beforehand and fry them when you have guests at your place. Without further delay, let us explore the exhaustive list of ingredients.
Minced Mutton (Kima) 500 gms (Wash properly and strain it well)
Raw Grated Papaya 4 Tablespoons
Fresh Cream/Malai 2 Tablespoons
Roasted Chana (Cholaar Daal) ground into fine powder – 3 tablespoons (Alternatively you could use Gram Flour/Besan)
One large Onion – Sliced and fried, then grounded into paste
Green chilly – 2 (ground into paste)
Coriander – 3-4 tablespoon (ground into paste)
One tablespoon Ginger Paste
Two tablespoons Garlic Paste
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder – One teaspoon
Salt 2 teaspoons (adjust according to your taste)
Lemon Juice 4 teaspoons
15-20 Cashewnuts (Ground into a fine powder)
Rose water – half teaspoon
Kewra Water – half teaspoon
Meetha Aatar – 2 drops
3-4 Saffron strands soaked in half teaspoon warm water
Ghee – 2 Teaspoon
Oil – For frying
Dry Spice Mixture
Dry Roast the following items on a pan and then grind them into a fine powder –
Kabab Chini One Teaspoon
Fennel Seeds One Teaspoon
Poppy Seeds 2 teaspoons
Cumin Seeds 1 teaspoon
Black Peppercorns 10-12 pods
Black Cardamom 1
Green Cardamom 4-5
Cinnamon Half inch stick
Mace – 2 whole
Cloves – 4-5
Take the minced meat and run it in the mixer, so that the meat is crushed into a fine paste. Then transfer it in a bowl and add the Raw Grated Papaya, Fresh Cream/Malai, Roasted Chana powder, Fried onion paste, green chilly paste, coriander paste, ginger-garlic paste, Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder, salt and lemon juice into it. Knead the mixture well with your palms. Now add the dry spice powder into the mixture, followed by the cashewnut powder, rose water, kewra water, meetha aatar, saffron soaked water and ghee. Knead well and combine the mixture once again. Now drop a burning hot charcoal piece into the mixture and drizzle some oil over it. Cover the mixture with a lid and let it rest for 3 to 4 hours. I let it rest on my kitchen top for 30 minutes, then I discarded the charcoal piece and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Making the Kebabs
Heat some oil in a pan for shallow frying the kebabs. Grease your palms with some oil. Now take little amount of mixture and shape them into tikia sized kebabs. Your kebabs should be moderately sized, because they tend to shrink when fried. Drop them into the pan and fry each side on low to medium flame for 4 minutes. Turn sides and fry them till they appear golden brown. These kebabs get cooked very quickly, so you need not fry them for more than 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve hot with parantha and onion salad.