Don’t get startled by the fancy French word in front of an old Pakistani or Punjabi classic. I am just taking a family favorite and adding a short cut or twist, hence the new or nouveau seekh kebabs. Ok so let me back up for some of you novices. A seekh kebab is just like any other kebab because its base is ground meat, but the reason for it being different is that the meat is wrapped around a skewer when grilled so when it’s served there is hole running through it. In culinary speak, this is done so the cooking time is shorter and the kebab stays moist instead of drying out (also so the kebab stays whole). Ok so typically this is made with mutton, I just didn’t have time to stop at a specialty store to get that so I went with ground beef, but note you can make this with ground chicken or turkey if you want to lighten this snack up as well.
Here is the nouveau secret: instead of chopping cilantro and using an egg as a binder I used Trader Joe’s cilantro dressing. That’s right, my seekh kebab mixture has salad dressing in it! Ok so I know aunties everywhere are cringing, but try this out and tell me if you don’t love it.
1 lb. ground meat (mutton or beef) **Note I used 80/20 beef since I wanted enough fat to add flavor and moisture.
1 tbsp. ginger paste
1 tbsp. garlic paste
1 tsp. ground cumin or jeera powder
1/2 tsp. of garam masala
salt to taste and chaat masala to dust on after cooking
finely chopped onion (1 medium is what the recipe said and that was definitely way too much, go half an onion at the most)
2-3 tbsp. of cilantro dressing
finely chopped green chili (3 if using the Indian ones and 2 if using a jalapeno or bigger chili)
don’t forget salt & pepper, I did and it just killed it with no salt
If baking, set the oven to 475 degrees and oil your hands when molding into kebab shape so they don’t stick. If you are cooking it on the charcoal grill or grill pan, cook it on high heat. Do not even try to get around the using a bamboo/metal stick. If you have noticed there is no filler in these kebabs so they WILL fall apart unless cooked in the traditional seekh kebab fashion around a skewer. Hope you enjoy!
Goa is a part of India that is on the coast & is a beach town. Known for its great seafood and Thai style cuisine, this is a funky dish to add to your arsenal that will make you seem more global and culinary advanced than is actually required for making this dish!
1 large onion chopped
2.5 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. of tomato paste
2 tsp. each of: cumin, turmeric, ginger powder, garam masala, cayenne, coriander powder, salt, pepper (Seems like a lot of spices, but these are the staples of Indian cooking and can often be found in packets together)
1 can of coconut milk
2 fistfuls of baby spinach (I know that is a really accurate measurement, but I had some leftover from a salad and I didn’t want it to go bad so I threw it in and I really liked how much heartier it made the curry so its completely optional)
1.5 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (that’s a lot, but think about it- no one complains that there was too much shrimp in their entree. However 1lb will be fine too if on a budget)
In a nonstick pan (or wok) heat up a good amount of olive oil, I’d say enough to coat the bottom of the pan or about 3 tbsp. When on high heat add the onions and spices. Cook until the spices are all one color and the onions have softened (in Indian cooking this is known as tadka, it will legit make your whole apt/house smell so make sure the exhaust fan is working and the near by windows are open.Also note I don’t love garam masala so I lessen that and in place increase the coriander or cumin…these are all very Indian and very strong spices. Adjust the measurements on what you like and if you don’t know what you like, use equal parts for the 1st try).
Now add the garlic and tomato paste. Simmer until the tomato paste has melted into the onion mixture…keep stirring. (If adding spinach this is where you would, mushrooms would also be a good idea…I don’t know if I would try any other veggies though because the star of the dish should still be the shrimp). Reduce the heat to medium now and add the milk and shrimp. Stir once, but then leave it alone to come to a boil & for the shrimp to cook (approx. 5 min since shrimp really doesn’t take more than that to be done. Also note I am sure this dish would be just as good with scallops too).
Cut the heat, stir, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if you want the truly authentic Indian feel. Enough for 4-6 servings. Accompany with rice & Check out the sidekicks section on a quick recipe on how to jazz up rice for company!