K and I spent a delightful evening in the company of my cousins who we were meeting with after what seemed like ages…I will have to admit publicly that I have just met one of the most well behaved 4 year old boys. There can’t be many…I can vouch for that…and an adorable 7 month old, who made me realise that gums can be as pain inflicting as teeth… i had my fingers chewed on, drooled on and then a sweet dimpled smile that makes you want to repeat the whole process….
Anyway, where was I? Yes the cousins….I wasn’t sure of what extend the invite to dinner, and with K driving me up the wall with his meal choices, I settled on Cheater’s Dahi Vada, Baked Potato wedges, Fake meat Shikampuri Kebabs and some ridiculously red mixed fruit drink!
On to the kebabs…. As always, I am going to pass a disclaimer…. these arent claiming to be authentic Hyderabadi Shikampuris. They can’t since they aren’t even meat. Also since i am really lazy, I didn’t stuff them with the chopped onion and coriander mix. What is pretty authentic is the flavour and the texture of the cutlets.
A nice moment was, when halfway through one of them, K exclaimed “Is this not mutton? Then what is it? Oh God, I was thinking you made it with real meat” Needless to say, I was very pleased!
Onto the recipe
Shikampuri Kebabs with Soy Nuggets
Ingredients (Makes 20 3 inch kebabs)
100 gms of soy nuggets about 3 cups
1/2 cup bengal gram / channa dal
2 green chillies
2 pieces of 1 inch cinnamon sticks
2 green cardamoms cloves
3 whole cloves
5-6 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
Soak the soy nuggets in 4-5 cups of hot water and leave it for about 10 minutes till they are rehydrated. Squeeze out all the water, run it under cold water and rinse. Squeeze out all the water again. Put the rehydrated nuggets, channa dal, green chillies, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, pepper and red chilli powder in a pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles till the dal is cooked.
Once the pressure has released, drain out the water, add the following to the pan and cook through till the whole mixture is dry.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion sliced
salt to taste
Cool the mixture completely and use the mixer to pulse it with very little water. it should be really thick and pasty like a dough. I used my Ultra wet grinder to do this. I found this much easier than the regular mixer because you really need to add water to get the pulsing to work.
Take out the mixture into a wide vessel and add the following
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup chopped coriander and mint leaves
mix it all together with a wooden spoon or your hands. Portion into 20 small ping pong balls, roll into a ball and flatten between your palms. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non stick or cast iron frying pan. When hot, place the kebabs around the pan, leaving space to wield a slotted spoon. Fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes, till they get a slightly deeper than golden colour. flip over and fry on the other side as well.
Serve hot or warm with onion rings, tomato slices, lemon wedges and mint chutney or tomato sauce.