I love the convenience of ground meat and find a number of local options at our farmers markets. From Loncito’s Lamb and Thunderheart Bison at both Sunset Valley Farmers Market and Austin Farmers Market, goat and lamb from Premium Lamb at Austin FM, to pork, beef and longhorn beef vendors at both markets, you’ll enjoy plenty of choices.
Here’s an Indian-inspired kebab recipe. You can use lamb (my first choice), goat (very mild), or beef. The ingredient list is long, but these juicy, aromatic morsels will transport you, if not to India itself, then to your favorite Indian grocery store. Mine’s MGM in Rich Creek Plaza at 7429 Burnet Road. I don’t get north much so I buy what I can at Fiesta, but I relish the occasional foray into this friendly resource. Sometimes they’re selling curry bush transplants. I bought one at least 8 years ago and it grows great here. It’ll die down in our “winter,” even with a sheet over it. Each spring I worriedly inspect the branches, searching for green signs of survival, and to my relief the plant always comes through. Sometimes it blooms sweet smelling blossoms and one year it even fruited. I had no idea what to do with those firm, dark, round berries. Let me know if you do!
Although these kebabs are moist enough not to require condimenting, they taste extra yummy with some blueberry chutney.
KAKORI-STYLE KEBABS yields 10 finger length chubbies
- 2 Tablespoons white poppy seeds–If you don’t have these, sesame seeds would probably taste good. Black poppy seeds probably wouldn’t.
- 3 Tablespoons besan (garbanzo bean flour)
- 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil, ghee, or neutral oil
- 1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons organic oatmeal (Whole Foods bulk sells for $1.79 a pound) soaked in 2 Tablespoons yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon garam masala–I always make my own and I’m always experimenting, but you can purchase some from WF or Central Market Bulk departments.
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, precious and optional, crushed with a little salt
- 3/4 of a hard Texas pear, peeled, cored and finely shredded. Go ahead and munch the other quarter or put it in your stock scrap bag in the freezer.
- 1 pound ground meat, preferably local grassfed good stuff
In a small skillet, dry-toast the poppy seeds over medium or so heat until fragrant and darkening. Add the besan and continue to toast until besan is roasty-fragrant and darkens a bit. Dump out onto a plate or cake pan (cools faster), let cool and grind up in your spice grinder or mortar. In your still hot pan, add the oil and onions and cook, adjusting heat as necessary, til they’re goodly browned. You know what I’m talkin’ about.
Mix all your dry seasonings, including besan mixture, together in a small bowl. Put the meat, browned onion, oatmeal and shredded pear into a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. I prefer to use a mixer because not only do my delicate hands get chilly but I can always count on a baby pooping on the carpet or some such disaster befalling my offspring when I’m up to my elbows in raw meat (or bread dough or whatever). Praise be to KitchenAid®! Dump in the spices and thoroughly combine all the ingredients however you dare.
Let the kebab mixture rest in the fridge for a while, all day or overnight. Form the meat with your hands into 10 plump sausages. An ice cream-style scoop works well to portion it out. Grill over hot coals til cooked through and crusty brown. Watch ’em disappear cuz even the youngest guy around here loves these.