A summer without firing up the grill is a summer that’s not done right! A summer barbecue is best enjoyed when the menu is easy to make, and uses simple and fuss-free ingredients. Marinated meat, seasonal fresh vegetables, sausages, etc, all these classic summer staples can be paired with a fresh salad, or a cool herbed dip. Traditional seekh kababs are very popular in the Indian sub-continent. Made from ground meat spiced with a warm spice blend (garam masala) and tenderizers (such as minced ginger and garlic), this kabab is best enjoyed when grilled over a charcoal grill, but also fares well when made on the stove top or even in the oven. I have adapted the classic seekh kabab recipe and made it with a milder spice blend, and with locally-available ingredients. This recipe makes use of garam masala which gives it its characteristic flavor. Although you can get garam masala at most ethnic stores, I suggest making a batch from whole spices for the best flavor. To make a batch, warm up the following spices on a pan: ½ cup fennel seeds, 5-6 cardamoms, 6-7 cloves, a 2 inch piece cinnamon, 2-3 pieces of mace. As the spices warm up, they release their aromas. Let the spices cool and then grind them in a blender, or coffee grinder. Store the ground spice mix in an air-tight jar and use as needed. My yogurt and sour-cream dip is lightly flavored with chopped dill and is the perfect foil to the heat from the kabab. Squeeze a little lime and dollop over the kabab for a perfect balance of flavor and texture. I hope this recipe gives you a nice and warm summer evening!
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