Hello, Foodies and Buddies!
Our Dish of the Week column returns for a special edition featuring these delicious Veg Kebabs by Chef Geeta! Not just that, we also have a full recipe for you to try out at home 🙂
Chef Geeta is one of the most famous home chefs on FoodyBuddy and a large part of her fame comes from these amazing kebabs.
She described today’s dish to us saying, “The dish is delicious Veg Kebabs. I do Seekh Kebabs, Bhutteyan de Kebab, Masoor ke Kebab, Harabhara Kebab, Dahi Kebab and Veg Meljol Kebab. Here we will be discussing the Veg Meljol Kebabs!”
Being a vegetarian, this dish holds some special significance for Chef Geeta.
She says with a fond smile, “If you thought vegetarian Kebabs only had to do with paneer, you are in for a huge surprise and you’re missing out on a lot right now. This dish holds great significance in terms of feeling good. A number of non-vegetarian people who have tried these have responded saying that if this is how good veg food can taste then why would one want non-veg food?”
Chef Geeta says that the dish is a favourite of her friends, family, and through FoodyBuddy, now also her neighbours! In fact, they are so in demand that she only generally does them for bulk party orders.
So, how did Chef Geeta learn to make such lip-smackingly delicious Kebabs? She answers, “I have always loved exploring new cooking methods. I remember enjoying my first barbecue so much that I immediately fell in love with it. I believe that the taste of vegetables is enhanced quite a lot when they are not cooked too much. Whenever I got the chance, I used to observe professional chefs in restaurants barbecuing and making different Kebabs and ask them different tricks that they swear by and used to try these at home for our next parties!
She continues with a laugh, “Hosting people at home has always been in my genes and people have frequently come home with the main agenda of trying out food from my kitchen. Little did they realise that many a time they have been the guinea pigs for my new recipes. So with time and practice, I learnt to do various versions of Kebabs. I love experimenting and coming up with new Kebabs even now!”
Chef Geeta’s generosity knows no bounds as she also gives us a full recipe to share with all of you:
Serving Size: 5 people – around 20 Kebabs
The ingredients can be split into three main parts:
2. Binding agent
3. Herbs and spices
Feel free to use any veggies that you have at home. Here are my personal recommendations:
Cabbage and/or Cauliflower – 100 gms (Total)
Carrot – 2, small sized
Peas- 1/2 cup
Beetroot- 1/2 (This brings an amazing colour and a mildly sweet taste to the Kebabs)
Besan – 5 Tablespoons or as required – The consistency of kababs shouldn’t be too dry as while rolling, it will stick to the hands a bit
Cashew Nuts – 10 to 12, powdered
Boiled Potato – 2, medium sized
You can also use bread crumbs or corn flour. The taste is great with any combination.
Herbs and spices
Ginger – 1 inch
Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves
Mint Leaves – 10 to 15, fresh and crushed or chopped very finely
Cardamom – 3 to 4, crushed into powder
Garam Masala – 1 teaspoon
Salt – as required
Oil for brushing and cooking the vegetables
Paneer – 50 gms (optional)
1) Roast the Besan Flour and Cashew Nut Powder separately and keep these aside to cool down.
2) Rinse and cut all the vegetables.
3) In a mixer grinder or food processor add all the veggies and mince them. Use the pulse option and do these carefully just for 1-2 seconds at a time till everything is minced properly. It shouldn’t be a paste.
4) In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil, ginger-garlic paste and saute them till their raw smell goes away.
5) Add the minced veggies and saute them for one minute. This is done to get rid of excess moisture. You can skip this step if you find the mixture not too moist.
6) Now in a bowl, add the cooked veggies as well as the remaining herbs and spices.
7) Now with the help of binding agents, one by one, bring the mixture together. The mixture should be light. Though it should come together well, it will be a bit sticky.
8) Now make Kebabs out of the mixture into the desired shape. Don’t put oil on your hands even though the paste might feel a bit sticky. Just remember to not make very thick Kebabs as they have to be cooked properly from the inside as well.
9)Rub oil on a tray beforehand and arrange all the kebabs on the tray. Put the tray in the refrigerator for half an hour for kebabs to set. You can also do this beforehand if preparing for a party. Then the only part remaining will be the cooking.
10) Take the Kebabs out of the fridge around 40 minutes before serving.
11) You can either choose to pan fry, bake, or barbecue the Kebabs.
12.a) If pan frying, keep the flame at medium and Add the Kebabs in small batches. Keep turning them till they turn golden brown uniformly.
12.b) If baking, preheat the Oven at 180 degrees Celsius and grill the Kebabs for 30 minutes. Take them out halfway through to turn and brush them with very little oil.
12.c) If barbecuing, make sure the heat is not too much otherwise outer layer will burn soon. Keep turning them till the outer layer is nice and dry. Brush them with very little oil in between.
13) Serve the Kebabs with Mint & Coriander Spicy and Tangy Chutney along with cut Onion Rings!
Chef Geeta also explains the major challenges associated with making these heavenly Kebabs. She says, “There are two challenges while preparing this dish. One, a good Kebab has to hold together nicely and yet has to be soft and adequately moist while eating so reaching to the right moisture content with all the vegetables is the key. Two, the consistency of veggies has to be right. They can’t be mashed. You should be able to feel the veggies while eating but, at the same time, they shouldn’t stand out individually in the Kebab. So mincing them to the right consistency is what one learns with practice!”
Thank you so much for such a detailed explanation, Chef!
And finally, Chef Geeta says in closing, “Kebabs are the best way of letting the kids also enjoy vegetables. Be creative and use different combinations of veggies and you can see anyone enjoying these without making faces. You can even make Kebab Rolls by putting sauces of choice in the centre of chapatis or parathas. Add raw cut onions and salad leaves. place a Kebab in the centre, roll it up, and here you go!”
Word of wisdom from a Kebab connoisseur! Thank you for being such an awesome part of FoodyBuddy, Chef Geeta, and we would like to wish you all the happiness and success in the world going forward 🙂
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