Every recipe in Smita Chandra’s “Indian Grill” is a gem. I have no idea why this book is not better known and used. But if you can find it, you should grab yourself a copy. These almond kebabs are among my favorite recipes from this book. The kebabs are unbelievably well-seasoned and their taste lingers on your tongue long after you have eaten them. A note about adding eggs to the kebab mix: when it works, it really binds the meat and add flavor. But depending upon the fat content of your meat, an egg can sometimes add too much liquid, causing your kebab to fall off the skewer during grilling. I start with 1/2 egg, adding the rest once I know that the meat is going to cohere. You can also omit it, if necessary. If your kebab insists on falling apart even if you don’t add the egg, just shape it into a hamburger and serve it with hamburger buns.
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 in ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup ground almonds, unsalted, unroasted
1/2 large egg
salt to taste
14-1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp gram masala
1lb ground lamb or beef (I buy 91% lean lamb or 96% lean ground beef)
In a skillet, heat the oil over a high flame and add the cumin seeds, stir for a few seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute for 5 min. until lightly browned.
3. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
4. Transfer the mixture to a food process and process until smooth.
5. Add half a beaten egg to the mixture and process again until incorporated.
6. Now add the ground almond and all the spices and the salt and pulse to mix.
7. Add the meat and process until the ingredients are fully mixed and the meat thoroughly minced. If the mixture looks stiff, add the rest of the egg.
8. Transfer the kebab mix to a bowl and refrigerate for an hour so that the flavors blend and the mixture firms up a bit.
9. Heat the grill to a medium heat.
10. Mould the kebabs onto skewers in sausage shapes about 4-6 inches long. (Do not despair if they dont adhere to the skewer. You can simply make patties out of the meat and eat as an upscale hamburger).
11. Grill covered for about 10 min. turning once to ensure even cooking. Uncover the grill, turn up the heat and char for a few minutes.
12 Slide off the skewer and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice before serving.
13. Serve with a rice pilaf, raita/yogurt dip or any Indian flat bread.