The seekh kebab is one of the best known tandoori dishes in Indian cooking. There are many recipes for these kebabs and each cook adds his or her own ingredients to give it a special and possibly unique flavour. Below is one of the most basic recipes which uses a paste made of fried onions for a touch of Northern Indian sweetness that reflects my father’s roots. This recipe is taken from Everyday Healthy Indian Cookery.
Makes 10-12 kebabs
500g minced lamb
2 tbsp peeled and grated root ginger
2 green chillies, finely chopped with the seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sunflower or olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill rack
1 onion, finely chopped
Soak 12 wooden skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. This prevents them burning when they are heated.
Put the mince in a large bowl, add the ginger, chillies, garam masala, paprika and salt and mix well.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until they are caramelized. Watch carefully so they do not burn.
Preheat the grill to high and lightly grease the grill rack, while the onions are frying.
Once the onions are cooled, add them to the minced lamb mixture and mix thoroughly.
Divide the mixture into 10-12 equal portions. Wet your hands and shape each portion around a skewer, smoothing over the ‘seam’.
Place the skewers under the grill and grill for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. The kebabs can also be made in a frying pan with a little oil and sautéed till the meat is cooked. They can be cooked in advance and warmed in an oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot with the Cucumber Relish and Tomato, Onion and Chilli Salad.