Come winter and the pleasant nip in the air brings along with it the craving to dig into smoking hot kebabs. And, if you’re one of the blessed souls who don’t mind taking a breather from calorie counting, when eating out, there are plenty of options to set you on a gastronomic high. From soft and juicy burras for that generous mouth feel to velvet soft kakoris, here’s our pick of the city’s heartiest kebabs. Team them with soft rumalis, fluffy lachcha paranthas or just bread, and the perfect wine to set your taste buds dancing. So, loosen your belts, sharpen your knives, hide away the calorie charts and get ready to dig in!
Prepared with a 125 years old recipe, Al Kauser Al Kakori’s kakori kebabs are a spirit lifting mélange of fine mutton keema, cashews, almonds and cream. The kebabs claim a rich legacy — chef Ashfaque Ahmed’s great grandfather made a humble start with selling the kebabs at dargahs in Lucknow in 1896. The kebabs wooed the dastarkhans of the Nawabs and finally travelled to Delhi, to get a thumbs up from the city’s who’s who. The utterly soft kebabs are best paired with paper-thin warki paranthas.
Any carnivore worth his tikkas and chops shouldn’t give a miss to Bukhara famed burra kebabs. Chef JP Singh uses mutton chunks on the bone and mutton chops that he soaks in a spicy marinade for a few hours before cooking in a tandoor. The kebabs taken out of the tandoor when half done, braised with butter and oil and cooked again until done. That's how you get burras worth the applause — juicy and soft on the inside and thoroughly cooked on the outside, the burra does not leave the bone when you lift it.
Thought kebabs can’t get pally with with fruits? Chef Manav Sharma of Ignis disagrees, and devises swanky recipes of frutilicious kebabs. His experiments are a mood lifter — the Grilled Basa Orange Kebab, jazzed up with orange juice and sweet paprika, won’t fail to delight a fish lover. Equally delicious are the Herbed Chicken and khumani kebabs — pan seared minced chicken patties with apricots and fresh herbs. For the green half of the city, there are Teeley wala paneer and anannas — grilled black peppered paneer and pineapple on skewers served with a zingy pineapple salsa.
The unusual combinations of Chef Syed Mustaque Murshid’s futuristic kebabs at Seven, The Suryaa, can make the most ardent meat eater change his mind. The Fig Filled Potatoes on Skewers — oval potatoes that have cottage cheese, khoya, figs, and nuts hidden inside and grilled to perfection. The Prune filled Jackfruit Tikki, made with spicy jackfruit tikkis come liberally filled with prunes. Do try his Watermelon and Goat Cheese Kebab, made of watermelon dices coated with goat cheese and grated potato mix and deep-fried, is crunchy on the outside and juicy and sweet inside.