Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hyderabadi food and my first food event(s)!

Think Hyderabadi cuisine and its hard to go beyond the Biryani. And its for a good reason too. The spicy meat and rice dish cooked Dum style deserved every single bit of its stellar reputation. I remember staying in Hyderabad for 3 months and every day was pretty much a kebab and biryani day. Of course we had to drink copious amounts of beer to wash it all down. I can only thank God that I was there only for 3 months because by the end of it I could hardly walk my pudgy self to the nearest restaurant.

I have such great memories of the city, romantic dinner at the Waterfront restaurant overlooking the beautiful Hussain Sagar, sweating through the Paradise Special Biryani in the non AC section, the best punjabi food ever in Angeethi, the unlimited-beer-chinese buffet in Mainland China, and the best were the countless small places serving everything from puri-subzi to one memorable kebab of chicken leg stuffed with mutton kheema! I spent endless days traipsing through the local markets, simply to look at the lustrous pearls. And when I say 'look', I mean buy! By the end of it I could bargain like a local and keep a straight face through it too. I loved the peculiar Hindi the locals spoke, the Nizami hauteur of not waking before the sun blazes in the afternoon sky, the effortless mix of small town charm with big city comfort, the winding roads of Banajara Hills, the rocking boats on the way to the Giant Buddha...the list is endless. I loved my time there and would definitely visit again.

When I saw an announcement for RCI Hyderabad, I thought it would be a good time to revisit my memories there. So reading up about hyderabadi cuisine on Wiki, I came across Lukhmi, a savory patty filled with minced meat. It sounded easy enough and definitely something I haven't tasted before. I read up on it and got an idea of the recipe. Keema, dough, deep fry...how do you go wrong with that? I used boneless chicken thigh meat in all my recipes since I didn't have mutton.

Whatever I read on the net was enough to give me an idea about making the keema. So I just followed my own recipe and eye balled most of the spices. It turned out pretty good, very very hot with addition of green chillies and chili powder.


Lukhmi

Lukhmi was not really difficult to make so while waiting for the keema to cook, I thought I had the time to cook something else too. So I searched a little more and found this fantastic looking recipe of Karen Anand's. It was little labour intensive but completely worth it. The spicy chicken mixed with the delicate yogurt, poppy seed and cashew nut paste, folded around a sharp chilli-coriander-onion chutney was one yummy dish. The end product was so subtle and sophisticated, it was hard to believe that it originated from my kitchen. You can find the complete recipe here.

Shikampur Kebabs

Since I still had some energy and a little bit of minced meat left, I made the easy-peasy Sheekh Kebabs, Debu's favorite. Here's the recipe I used.

1 cup of minced meat
1 medium onion
1/2 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
2-3 green chillies

a sprig of fresh coriander leaves
1 egg
a palmful bread crumbs
salt to taste

Dry Spices
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 cloves
2-3 green cardamom pods
1/2 inch of mace
1/2 inch piece cinnamon

Grind the dry spices together and mix with the minced meat. Chop the onion very fine or you could grate it and add that to the mixture. Grate the ginger, garlic and chop the coriander leaves finely and add. Quickly knead everything together, try not to overwork the meat. Oil your palms and form patties. The traditional method is to put them on a skewer and form a cylindrical shape. My mixture was a little loose and it refused to form anything kind of shape on a skewer, so I shaped it into round patties and baked them in an oven on 350 degrees for about 40-45 mins. I turned them over after 45 mins and baked for another 5-10 mins.

After the Lukhmi and Shikampur kebabs, these were not so impressive but but still nice in a familiar kind of way. The onion, ginger and garlic kept the meat really moist and fork tender.

Sheekh Kebab

All of this heads over to Mona for her RCI:Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine. I'm pretty excited to participating in my first event and I do hope this happens more often.


And to Here I cook for the Non-Veggie Recipe Event.



17 comments:

Sudeshna

Thank you for sending me the entry. I'm already celebrating it and today my blog crossed 5000, so theres more to this joy. I added you to my blogroll too.

Sudeshna

Hi did u send the mail to my address for the event, actually I didin't get it, so please resend it to bengalicuisine@gmail.com. Thanks again

renaye

wow. was drooling while reading ur blog.. i like middle eastern and indian food. i'm quite crazy over gulab jamun but haven't found the best gulab jamun in town.

Jessica@Foodmayhem

Hey, it looks delicious! BTW, I love Indian food, but I have more of it in the winter than summer.

LG

nice entries for the event..

Sudeshna

An award waiting for you on my Awards page so do collect it. Congrats

Manasi

Wow Sudeshna! This calls for a party, I hope you are doing something to celebrate this :) Thanks for adding me to the blogroll and the award. I really appreciate it.

Manasi

Hey Renaye, thanks for all thr drool [:)], Try the sweet shops in Jersey City, they have some good gulab jamuns. If you are ever in Jersey ask me for a list of places where you can get phenomenal Indian Sweets.

Manasi

Thanks Jessica, looking forward to your Indian food posts in winter

Manasi

Thanks Ig! Let me know if you try out any of the recipes

Sudeshna

Hi Manasi ,
U r always welcome. O I'm thinking of doing something to celebrate. Lets see, I'll post it soon.

Yasmeen

Manasi,those lukhmi look perfect.
I was born and raised in Hyderabad, remember eating lukhmi in many Daawats.I just love the crispy texture and the delicious meat filling.
And the spicy Shikampur kebabs and sheekh kababs are making me drool:)

Manasi Khedlekar

Thanks Yasmeen, it feels great to get some approval by a true blue Hyderabadi!

Anonymous

where is the recipe for lukhmis???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Manasi

Hey Anon, lukhmi is simply keema stuffed in a dough and deep fried. You can find a recipe for keema here http://indianfood.about.com/od/beefdishes/r/masalakheema.htm
and the dough is just plain flour, kneaded with yogurt, butter and water. you can substitute puff pastry sheets for the dough.

kanwar jis

Gulab jamun is a Indian traditional desert dish. Sprinkle some milk on top of it to make it smooth and soft. Soft, spongy and melt in mouth Best Gulab Jamun in India drenched in syrup is a traditional kanwarjis sweet.

kanwar jis

Best Gulab Jamun in Delhi you can just buy on kanwarjis sweet shop. It’s the best of all Indian sweets, Gulab jamuns are popular all over India.

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