Chelo Kebab, the name in itself makes our mouth salivate. There has not been a single time when I didn’t have to stand in a long queue outside a popular restaurant in Park Street, Kolkata, just to get inside and order their house special, Chelo Kebab. Well the dish is a meal in itself, served with Mutton Seekh Kebab and Chicken Reshmi Kebab on the sides, with steaming buttery rice placed in the center and served with a poached egg on top, and not to forget the butter cubes, to elevate the scrumptiousness of the dish a notch higher. So for all the Chelo Kebab lovers and the first timers I am about to share the recipe of my most beloved comfort food, Chelo Kebab, and trust me you can prepare it as delicious as served at any restaurant and surprise your friends and family. So let’s get started!
marination for 12 hours
Take a mixer bowl, add the minced meat or mutton keema, 2tbsp onion paste, 2tbsp ginger garlic paste, 2tbsp grated papaya, 2tbsp red chili powder, 2tbsp garam masala, 2tbsp lemon water, 4tsp bread crumbs, 3tsp chatu (for binding), and 4tsp hung curd, now blend all the ingredients together. Leave it for marination for 12 hours.
Next take out the marinated mutton keema from the refrigerator, at least 15 minutes before you start cooking. Now add salt as per taste to the marinated meat and mix it well. Then take the skewers (or seekh) rub a little butter on it and start wrapping the marinated keema around it in the shape of a finger. Each skewer will carry one Seekh Kebab.
Take a flat frying pan, add 2tbsp of butter and let it heat on medium flame, then place the skewers on the pan and let the kebab fry, until it changes to beautiful brown colour, turn the skewer and fry the other side. When both sides turn brown, your Mutton Seekh Kebab is ready. Take the skewers out of the pan and place it on the serving dish.
Preparing Chicken Reshmi kebab
marination for 12 hours
Take a bowl, add the chicken pieces, 2tbsp onion paste, 2tbsp ginger and garlic paste, 2tbsp lemon water, 2tbsp red chili powder, 2tbsp garam masala powder and 6tsp hung curd. Now mix all the ingredients together and marinate it for 12 hours.
Next take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before you start cooking, so that the meat can come down to normal temperature for better cooking results. Add salt as per taste to the marinated chicken and mix it well. Take onion, tomato and capsicum and cut it into cubes to place it in between the chicken pieces. Now take a skewer, rub it with some butter, and pierce an onion cube inside the skewer, followed by capsicum and tomato cubes. Now pierce in the chicken piece, repeat the vegies and chicken piece in the same order for two other sets. Each skewer will contain three to four sets of vegies and chicken depending upon the length of the skewer, leaving equal space at the top and bottom. Brush melted butter over the chicken and vegetables.
Now take a flat frying pan, add 4tbsp of butter and let it heat on medium flame. Now place the skewers on the pan and shallow fry it until the chicken turns golden brown on both sides and veggies turn tender. Next to add the tandoori flavour to the kebab, remove the frying pan from the gas oven, and place a steel net on top of the gas, like the ones used to make rotis. Place the skewers on top of the steel net on medium flame and continue cooking until the chicken and vegies get a tandoori texture, keep adjusting the flame to avoid burning the chicken. Remove the chicken and vegies from the skewer and place on the same serving dish as the Seekh Kebab.
Preparing the Rice
Take 1 cups of Basmati rice and soak it in normal water for around an hour. Next take a pot, put it on medium flame and add the rice and 2 ½ cups of warm water to the cooking pot, sprinkle salt over the same, and give it a stir, cover the lid and let it cook.
Once the rice is done, take a pan, add 2tbsp of butter, let it heat and add the rice, stir it well and place the rice in between the kebabs on the same serving plate.
Preparing the perfect Egg Poach
To prepare the perfect round shaped egg poach I will recommend a kadai instead of a frying pan. Put the kadai on medium flame, add 1tsp of butter, let it heat, carefully break the egg, so that the yolk stays intact, sprinkle a little salt over it. Once done carefully lift the poach and place it on top of the rice.
Directions for serving
Cut two cubes of butter and place it on the rice, for dressing add sliced cucumbers on the side of the dish.
With the rice, the poached egg on top and two varieties of kebabs placed on both sides, your Chelo Kebab is ready to be served. Enjoy!
P.S – Never add salt to the meat, both chicken and mutton keema, while you marinate it for 12 hours, as then it will release water and loosen the binding of the meat, which will make it difficult to wrap the meat around the skewers. Always add salt as the last ingredient before you start cooking and remember to mix it well.
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