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Mumbai chef makes kebabs with ingredients that are native to various Indian regions

Chef Bhairav Singh visits several places in India and unearths ingredients that are native to particular regions.

travel Updated: Jun 08, 2017 17:01 IST
Mumbai,Chef,Bhairav Singh
Chef Bhairav Singh started his journey in the Konkan region in Maharashtra.(HT Photo)

Kebabs are a common delicacy in Indian kitchens. The common varieties of kebabs include Chicken Tikka, Afghani, Malai, Reshami among others. But, in an effort to break through the norm and give the classic an upgrade, Bhairav Singh, chef at InterContinental, has travelled across the country and unearthed ingredients that are native to particular regions and made kebabs with a desi touch.

He began his journey along the lush Konkan coastline, where he spent 26 days with the natives and discovered a fruit that is used specifically in the region called neer fanas (breadfruit), and prepared a kebab using it. A trip up north, in Ambala, Punjab, introduced him to chhole aam aka harbhara and water chestnuts, which he incorporated in his recipes. The bustling Kangra market of Kolkata inspired a fish based kebab recipe with a twist, where instead of the usual breadcrumbs, he used powdered toast to give a slight crunch to the dish. The valleys of Kashmir revealed that the stem of the lotus flower, locally called bhein is edible, and this delicacy was infused in yet another kebab recipe.
Inspired by this eclectic mix, here are kebab recipes, which are beyond the run-of¬-the-mill variety that we are exposed to.

Asharfion Ki Shami by Bhairav Singh, chef, InterContinental, Marine drive.

200gms chicken supreme
2tbsp pistachio powder
1 large onion
2tbsp chana dal
1tbsp ginger garlic paste
1tsp rose petal powder
1 tsp green chilli paste
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp yellow chilli powder
2 ml rose water
4 pinch saffron strings
1 tbsp poppy seed paste
2 tbsp desi ghee
2 tbsp milk
Salt to taste
4 edible gold leaves

Wash and boil the chana dal. Pass it through a fine strainer and mash it. Keep it aside to cool. Thinly slice the onion and deep fry it on a slow flame till golden brown. Puree it to a smooth paste with a little water. Soak the saffron in warm milk for 20min. Wash and dry the chicken supreme. Remove the veins from the centre and mince it finely. In a mixing bowl, add the minced chicken, onion paste and chana dal. Mix it thoroughly. Add all the ingredients, except he gold leaves. Add a tablespoon of ghee to the mixture. With your palm, rub the mixture for around 10 minutes. Keep the mixture in the fridge for around 10 minutes to cool. Divide the mixture in four parts. Take a round mould and make round coin like patties. On a non-stick pan, shallow fry the patty with ghee till light brown and cooked from both the sides. Coat the patty with gold leaf and sprinkle with pistachio powder. Serve hot.

Red Velvet Kebab by Hansel Baptista, Head Chef at Swey, Worli.

6 Beetroots, medium, grated
150gm cottage cheese
2tbsp chèvre
1tbsp lemon juice
2tsp roasted garlic, chopped
1tsp ginger, chopped
1tsp parsley, chopped
4tbsp cashew nut, powder
1/4tsp all spice mix
1/2tsp white pepper powder
1/4tsp black pepper powder
1tbsp sweet paprika
2tbsp butter
Salt to taste
4tbsp bread crumbs, for binding
Some oil for greasing palms

Heat 2tbsp of butter in a pan. Add beetroot, salt and sauté. Add lemon juice and mix. Sauté till all the moisture dries up and the beetroot is cooked. Mash the mix. Add garlic, ginger, paprika powder and continue to sauté for around five minutes. Place this mixture in a vessel and let it rest for five to seven minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add all dry ingredients except bread crumbs, mix well and let it cool. Add the chèvre and let it rest in the fridge for an hour. Divide the mixture into eight equal portions. Grease your palms with some oil, take small portions of the mixture and shape them onto the skewers. Cook evenly in the tandoor for four to six minutes. Alternatively, you can set an oven to grill mode. Load the skewers and grill it for five minutes.

Mahi Ajawani Tikka by Shadab Ahmed, chef de cuisine, Jyran, Sofitel Mumbai, BKC.

200gm Kolkata bhetki (barramundi or Asian sea bass)
50gm hung curd
10gm turmeric powder
10gm garam masala powder
10gm ajwain (ajowan)
10gm ginger and garlic paste
10ml mustard oil
Salt to taste
Saffron for flavour

Combine the ginger garlic paste, salt, hung curd, garam masala, turmeric powder, mustard oil, ajwain and saffron in a bowl. Add the fish to the mixture and stir to coat evenly. Marinate for five to six hours. Preheat a tandoor oven or a charcoal grill to medium heat. Thread the marinated fish on the metal skewers and cook for around 10 to 15 minutes.

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First Published: Jun 08, 2017 17:00 IST