As mentioned in my previous article on “starters”, there is a favourable bias towards non-vegetarian starters. Well, the bias leans towards me and some of those around (me). That brings me to the second most simple non-vegetarian starter recipe which combines great taste with low calories.
200 grams of boneless chicken (or mutton if you may, or prawns)
A teaspoonful red chilli powder
A half of a teaspoon of garam masala powder
A half of a teaspoon of turmeric powder
A half of a teaspoon of cumin seeds (raw, not roasted)
A fourth of a teaspoon of asafoetida
A teaspoon of fenugreek leaves
A half of a teaspoon of whole coriander seeds
A tablespoonful of fresh green coriander
A decent-sized green chilli
A fourth of a teaspoon of garlic
Juice of half a lime, or as much as you deem fit
A half of a teaspoon of salt, or as much as that befits your taste buds
• Grind all of the above ingredients with salt (except, of course, lime juice), give it a few spurts in a mixer to make a coarse powder.
• Add the boneless chicken to the ground powder in the grinder jar, followed by the lime juice.
Tip: To make the lime juicier, place it in warm water for a couple of minutes before squeezing it.
• Grind the chicken in yet another two or three rounds of the mixer.
• Place the contents in a tart and blend well with the fingers.
Tip: Marinate for at least a day if not a week, to make the paste all the juicier. Some fast-paced restaurants are known to freeze kebabs for a month even! A long period!
• Form sausage-like rolls as seen in the image insert above.
• Wrap the rolls in aluminium foil in, say 2-inch lengths, twisting it closed at both ends as in chocolate wrapping.
• The foil-wrapped kebabs may be stored in the refrigerator and baked the next day.
• Bake for fifteen minutes at 350 deg.
Tip: No OTG? No sweat. Simply form flat round shapes of the meat paste and pan sear. Bingo!
Notice that not a drop of oil goes into the recipe? Makes for a healthy yet a lip-smacking starter.
A hot favourite among Punjabis, especially the presence of fenugreek (or kasuri methi) does the trick. Fenugreek, as you may be aware, features as the primary ingredient in most of their fare.
The Showing Off
Garnish the baked kebabs with mint leaves, onion rings, lime wedges and green chutney. I’d go along with serving them on wooden trays, to give it an earthy look and feel.
The smoking hot dish makes me feel like Jeeves, the butler, as I come bearing the salver albeit a non-silvery one. A contemporary, female butler.
How many could you invite
Six. Or, four eager ones.