Veggie Kabab ~‘meat free’ kabab with yam and plantain~
Somewhere during the rule of the Mughals in India, Awadhi cusine came into existence in Uttar Pradesh, north India. Awadhi cuisine has been shaped by three major influences – central asian, middle eastern, and north indian. The food of Awadh is what’s called Shahi /Nawabi meaning princely – rich not only in taste but also in texture. Streets of Lucknow are well known for their kebabs… that I can never eat cos they’re made of meat… but few years back I had had a veggie version of the infamous Galaouti kabab at a local resto. So anyway this Galouti/Galawati kebab, are called so because of a toothless old nawab. Nawabs of yore were an indulgent lot who never let things like age or lack of teeth come in the way of their decadent eating ways. So a clever Bawarchi of the same toothless ruler decided to grind the meat over 30 times, and put over one hundred aromatic spices in it, to keep him alive with happy digestion. The kebab was then cooked over a low charcoal flame – so that it not only tasted good but had an aroma that was typical of this kebab.
In my case, I have made redundant two annoying steps – done away with the meat and all that grinding, and avoided the charcoal and all that mess! The resulting patty is delicious, great in texture and the use of mace, a very important ingredient in this kebab, makes for an aroma that you don’t usually find in vegetarian kebabs.
So here’s my (melt-in-the-mouth) Galouti Kebab made with yam (zamikand/suran) and plantain (unripe banana)…
2 cups cooked yam (suran/zamikand/chena), mashed
My friend Sangeeta tells me you can make this with just plantains too, if you don’t like yam, or don’t know what it is.