Tried and Tasted: Here’s where you’ll get the best kebabs & tikkas outside of Old Delhi
Head to Nizamuddin and look for Ghalib Kabab Corner if you’re in the mood for some finger-licking good kebabs and tikkas.Updated: Mar 25, 2018 09:05 IST
What do you do when you are itching to have some good kebabs and tikkas, and going to the Walled City is not an option? You head for Nizamuddin – and look for Ghalib. No, not the poet – though he does live in all of us – but an eatery that has been serving some delicious kababs for 50 years or more.
I first went to Ghalib during those times when twitter was merely something that birds did and an apple kept the doctor away. I went back there some months ago, and found that the food was the way I remembered it – tasty and affordable.
Ghalib’s Kabab Corner is in Nizamuddin Basti, opposite the Markazi Mosque. The place consists of a narrow room where people can sit and eat. There are tables and chairs in front of the mosque, too. The bawarchis sit outside, grilling seekh kebabs and tikkas. Next to the shop, you will find mounds of rotis.
I love this place for its kababs and tikkas. The seekh kababs, grilled on a skewer right in front of you, are moist and soft and have just the right mix of spices. The seekh kababs are prepared with lamb or buffalo meat, and the tikkas are only of buffalo meat. The tikkas are chunky pieces of meat, which are grilled to perfection, and with again just the right balance of flavours and spices. They have shami kababs, too, which are of lamb meat. The shamis are different from those you get elsewhere, because the meat is not beaten, but is minced. The outer casing is deliciously crisp, and the minced meat inside is soft and chewy at the same time. And it reminded me of the kababs that a family friend called Bundu Mian used to cook for us when I was a young boy.
I had a mutton seekh kabab, a mutton shami kabab and buffalo meat tikkas. The food came with some tart and hot chutney and sliced onions. The seekh kabab was juicy, the shami was mildly spiced – which is something that is becoming pretty rare these days – and the tikka was so full of flavours that I was left licking my fingers. I am told they use 30 kinds of masalas for their meat.
I think what makes Ghalib’s food so special is the quality of meat that they use for it. It was once a butcher’s shop. Then they started making kebabs – with just two or three kilos of meat to begin with and now with 50 to 60 kilos a day to satisfy the appetites of their loyal clientele.
And they certainly have their diehard customers. When I was there a few months ago, the place was so packed that I thought I had landed up at mall during a sale season. This time, however, I went during Navratri, and found that the usual suspects were all missing. After all, this is the period when even hard-core carnivores go underground. So if you are not on a non-meat diet, this is the time to strike, for it’s easy to place your order and eat your food in peace when you don’t have hordes of people breathing down your neck.
I think they have given a nice name to the eatery. It reminds you of the poet, who satisfies your soul, while the food whets and sates your appetite.
Recipe: Bundu Mian’s kababs
Ingredients: 1 kg minced lamb meat, 200g channa dal, 1tsp whole coriander seeds, 1tsp cumin seeds, 1tbsp garlic paste, 1tbsp grated ginger, 3 whole red chillies, a stick of cinnamon, 3 large cardamoms, salt to taste, a small bunch of chopped mint leaves, a small bunch of chopped coriander leaves, 2 very finely chopped green chillies, 1 egg, oil for frying.
Method: Mix everything barring the egg, oil, green leaves and chillies. Take this mix and pressure cook for about 10 minutes. Open the lid. If there is any water in the cooker, cook till the meat is dry. Take the meat mix through a grinder and add the remaining ingredients (beat the egg for a few minutes). Make patties and shallow fry on a medium flame.
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