Take time enough for your meals, and eat them in company whenever you can. There is no need for hurry in life—least of all when we are eating. ~Edward Everett Hale
This was culinary magic at its best. We had both agreed to make something from the recipes of the Royal Kitchen of Nawabs, Lucknow.Nikita, originally hails from the land of Royal cuisine, while i was at ground zero. Some reading and inspiration was required.
Awadhi cusine still by and large remains a bit unknown among us, even though most of us are aware of delectable Galouti kebab, dum biryani , layered parathas, rabri and apple jalebis. The heart of Awadhi Cusine lies in Lucknow . The very city Lucknow evokes so many visions of grandeour, rich culture and history. It also upholds one more jewel in its crown and that is the art of fine cooking. From intrinsic terms to delicate spices to long hours of “dum cooking”, Awadhi cuisine redefined the art of fine eating. From the dastarkhwans to daawat-e-shiraz to the rakabdaars-khansama-bawarchi, the entire culinary culture oozed of royalty, “adab”,
One could almost imagine the sparkling silver plates, the soothing kulhads (earthen ceramic cups) being laid out on table for the royalties for the delicacies to devour. The planned frenzy of the khansama, moving to and fro from the kitchen to serve, the royal “sama” of ghazals, thumris and shairo shayris, it was an era where the art of people orientation cooking was developed.
Today, we present you with “dahi ke kebab”, a fine melt in the mouth delicacy from Awadh.
Dahi ke kebab (serves 3- if you dont want to share with a fourth person)
Drinks to go with- Saffron lemonade, thandai or Lassi
Hung curd -1/2 cup
Paneer (Cottage cheese)- 100 gms
Bread crumbs – 4 tablespoons (made from 3 slices of toasted bread)
Green chillies- 2 (Finely chopped)
Ginger -1 teaspoon
sesame seeds- 2.5 teaspoon
cashewnuts- 1.5 tablespoons
Cinnamon powder- 1.5 teaspoon
red chilli powder- 1 tsp
garam masala powder- 1.5 tsp
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
To serve – chutney, sauce
1. Grind Paneer in a food processor . The consistency of this mixture should resemble to coarse bread crumbs.
2. Coarsely grind ginger, green chillies , cashew nuts and sesame seeds. Sesame seeds adds crunchiness and nuttiness to the kebab mixture.
4. The texture should be soft, moist and it should not crumble into your hands, while making kebab.
5. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form them into balls. Press them a little to make them flat and they look like kebab.
6. Heat a non-stick pan with oil and shallow fry the kebabs till they turn golden brown and crisp on both the sides.
7. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or sauce.
Cheat’s Version :-
1. you can add a little besan(Bengal gram flour) to the mixture while binding .
2. if you don’t have bread on hand, you can grind ready made toasts/rusks in a food processor.
3. You can add one small grated boil potato or green peas or 1 tablespoon grated cheese to the kebab mixture.
4. Add a tablespoon of butter to the nonstick pan for that buttery aroma on the kebab.
This is definetly a starter dish. The delicate texture melts in your mouth, and the tangy taste of curd and soft paneer is a match made in heaven.
Next time, we will get more adventurous and perhaps cook a whole Awadhi meal.
And thank you so much dear readers for reading our blog. We give you our word that we will always make recipes to satisfy yours and ours palate and wallet too.
Until another post, Stay in good health and mood.
Nikita and shweta.
One can say everything best over a meal.