Recapture the taste of a night in the crowded bazaars of Old Lahore with this authentic but easy recipe.
o 800 gm mutton mince (keema)
o 1 onion - finely chopped, 1½" piece of ginger - finely chopped
o 8 flakes of garlic - finely chopped, 4 green chillies - deseeded finely chopped
o 3 tbsp chopped coriander (hara dhania)
o 2 eggs, 4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
o 1 tbsp chopped mint (poodina), 2 tbsp roasted gram flour (besan)
1 tsp pomegranate seeds (anaar daana), 1 tsp black pepper corns (saboot kali mirch) seeds of 2 green cardamoms (chhoti elaichi), seeds of 1 black cardamom (moti elaichi)1" stick cinnamon (dalchini), 2 cloves (laung), a pinch of nutmeg (jaiphal)¾ tsp rock salt (kala namak)
desi ghee or melted butter for basting
1. Wash the mince (keema) in a strainer and gently press to squeeze out all the water. Grind in a grinder to make it fine and sticky.
2. Powder all ingredients for lahori seekh masala together in a small grinder.
3. In a large flat vessel (parat) add mince, onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies, coriander, eggs, cheese, mint, besan the ground spices. Mix well with the help of your palm. Divide into 16-18 balls and keep aside for 2 hours.
4. Heat an oven with greased skewers at 180°C. Cover the wire rack of the oven with foil. Grease the foil well with oil.
5. Take one ball of the mince mixture at a time and hold a hot skewer carefully in the other hand. Carefully press the mince on to the hot skewer.
6. Make another seekh on the same skewer, leaving a gap of 2". Repeat with the left over mince on all the other skewers.
7. Place the skewers on the wire rack with foil. Put in the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes, change sides, baste with ghee or melted butter. Cook for another 5 minutes. When cooked, gently remove the kebab from the skewers with the help of a cloth. Serve cut into 2" pieces with mint chutney.
These golden, batter-fried fingers are not overwhelmed with spices - just one shining accent note of ajwain (carom seeds).
o 500 gm boneless fish fillet - cut into 1½" long pieces (10-12 pieces)
o ¼ tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
o 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice
o 2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
3 tbsp flour (maida), 4 tbsp cornflour, 3 tbsp gram flour (besan),
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain), 2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste, ¾ tsp salt1
½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice a pinch of colour; ¼ cup water, approx.
Some chaat masala for sprinkling on top, hari chutney, one large lemon - cut into wedges
1. Cut fish into 1½" long pieces of ¼" thickness.
2. Rub fish pieces with haldi, salt, lemon juice and besan. Keep aside for 20 minutes. Wash well to remove all smell. Pat dry on a clean kitchen towel.
3. Mix together all ingredients of the batter.
4. Leave the fish to marinate in it for at least 2 hours or till serving time in the fridge.
5. At the time of serving, heat oil on medium heat. Pick up the fish pieces, deep fry to a golden colour on low medium heat till the fish is cooked and crisp.
6. Sprinkle chaat masala and serve hot garnished with lemon wedges and sprigs of coriander or mint.
Note: For a different flavour 1-1½ tsp dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) can be added to the batter.