No matter how you say it, from kabob to kebab, they are a delight to eat and extremely easy to make. Kababs literally means food that has been roasted or grilled on skewers. The word ‘kabob’ in English – derived from the Middle Eastern term – but popular throughout all of Asia and especially India.
It is made by skewering alternate chunks of meat and vegetables on a skewer, then cooking it over an open flame or coal. Kababs can be cooked in several different ways – such as grill, tandoor (clay oven), pan-fry, or even microwaved.
1. Kakori Kebab
Kakori kebabs are Lucknow’s specialty and the very mention of this kebab brings alive mouthwatering images in one’s imagination. This exquisite kebab is made with high-quality lamb mince that has been mixed with spices like coriander, cumin, ginger powder, garam masala, green chilies, and other ingredients.
The mixture is then rolled into small marble-sized balls which are further fried in pure desi ghee till they acquire a golden brown color. They are garnished with chopped coriander leaves and served hot with chutney or ketchup.
2. Kaleji Kebab
These kebabs are made using minced cubes of lamb liver that is cooked with spices like green chilies, cumin, coriander powder, and red chilly powder. It is also garnished with chopped coriander leaves and sliced onions.
It is a unique variety of kabab and it is quite possible that some people may not like it. But for liver lovers, these kebabs will definitely be a delight.
3. Malai Kebab
The origins of these kebabs lie in the popular Mughlai cuisine which is known for its rich and creamy gravies prepared with loads of butter, cream, and milk. These kebabs are made from a mixture of minced chicken, curd or hung yogurt, and corn flour that is then deep-fried in pure ghee till it acquires a rich golden brown hue. It is then served with onion rings and lemon wedges that are drizzled with generous amounts of butter.
4. Seekh Kebab
These kebabs, which are also called shashlik, are probably the most popular kebabs in every part of the world and there is a reason why they are loved everywhere.
They are made with minced meat (beef or lamb) which is tenderized using spices like salt, pepper, chaat masala, and ginger-garlic paste. They are then shaped into cylindrical pieces that are skewered on bamboo sticks before being grilled in tandoors or ovens.
5. Dahi Kabab
Dahi kebabs are basically a variant of seekh kababs and they make for a delicious party appetizer. They are made with the same ingredients as seekh kebabs but here they are served topped with a generous serving of curd or dahi along with chopped onions and coriander leaves.
6. Tikka Kabab
These kebabs are prepared in a traditional tandoor and they acquire their name from the method of cooking i.e. Tikka which means ‘bits’ or small cubes in Urdu.
They are basically made with minced chicken or fish that is marinated in spices like salt, pepper, ginger-garlic paste, red chilly powder, aamchur powder, and hung curd before being skewered on bamboo sticks.
Some people also marinate them in a spicy red gravy made from capsicum, tomatoes, and lots of butter which give them their unique taste.
7. Gosht Achar Kabab
Achar is basically a pickle that can be made from various ingredients like mango, lime, chilies, garlic, etc. Gosht achar is chunks of lamb meat that are skewered on bamboo sticks and then barbequed in tandoors before being cooked with pickled onions, green chilies, lemon juice, and mustard oil.
Mustard oil gives a unique flavor to these kebabs and you will definitely like this uncommon kabab variety. See also the list of famous winter drinks.
8. Hariyali Kabab
Haryali kababs are basically lamb meat that is grilled in tandoors or ovens and then marinated with a paste made from mixing coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala powder, cumin seeds, etc.
They are also garnished with chopped onions and lemon wedges. These kebabs make an excellent addition to any dawat and being delightful green in color, they are sure to capture the gaze of your guests.
9. Shami Kabab
These simply spiced and grilled beef patties can be found all over Pakistan, primarily in restaurants and roadside stalls that specialize in making bun kebabs of all kinds. Something that makes this variety of kebabs so special and irresistible is that you can easily prepare them at home. And they make an excellent side dish with daal chawal and achar.
See also the list of 10 delicious foods from Pakistan.
10. Kadhai Kabab
It is known to be the most favorite dish of the Nawabs who ruled India and Pakistan before the independence. The kadhai kabab is made of lamb, beef, or chicken mince that has been spiced with garam masala and other spices. It can be served as a chutney sandwich or stuffed into naan bread.
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All of these kebab varieties make great additions to any dining table. Do try some of them in your next dawat and let us know about your experience.