When I first tasted these kababs at my in-laws’ place some 23+ years ago, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. They were clearly the tastiest thing I had ever eaten! I had not even heard of this kind of a kabab before I ate them at my in-laws house in Bihar and I am sure that most people who don’t have a Bihari-connection have never heard of these either. But take my word for it, these kababs are absolutely amazing. Back then, I was told repeatedly that my mother-in-law’s recipe was a tightly held family secret. Unfortunately, I didn’t not manage to get it from her before I moved to the US and left India for good. Anyway, I did not forget the taste of the dish and after repeated attempts I did manage to replicate the taste (much to the delight of my husband!). My recipe deviates from the original since my mother in law used to use poppy seeds (known as khus-khus in Hindi/Urdu) and I use almonds instead but the results of both the recipes are quite close in taste. I often serve these at parties and they are always my most asked-for recipe!
1. 1-1.25 lbs lamb boneless meat cut this thin layers about ½ to 3/4 inches thick (or you can use other red meat such as beef or goat meat )
2. ½ packet of Shaan Bihari Kabab spice mix (available at all South-Asian stores)
3. One cup of plain yogurt
4. The juice of one lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)
5. 4 large cloves of garlic
6. About one inch long and about an inch thick nub of fresh ginger root
7. 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
8. 15-20 almonds
9. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Using a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds and almonds into a rough powder.
2. Peel the garlic cloves and the ginger root.
3. Make the marinade by grinding the yogurt, juice of a lemon, garlic cloves and ginger root in a blender into a thick pulpy sauce.
4. To the blended yogurt mixture, add the Shaan Bihari Kabab spice mix, olive oil, the coriander powder and the ground almonds and stir thoroughly.
6. Refrigerate the marinated meat for about 12-24 hours (depending on when you want to grill the kababs).
7. An hour before you want to cook the kababs, take the meat out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.
8. Start a charcoal grill or tandoor and get the coals to a steady high heat.
9. Skewer the pieces of meat on large metal skewers (not too tightly or the inside of the meat remains raw).
10. Grill the skewered meat over an open charcoal grill, evenly on both sides for about 7-8 minutes on each side or in a tandoor till the meat looks done (the time depends on the heat generated in the tandoor).
11. Serve the Bihari Kababs with a squeeze of fresh lemon/lime juice over it and with a side of flat bread (naan or pita bread), some chunky vegetable salad and a mint raita sauce (make the raita by whipping plain yogurt and adding some salt, pepper and some fresh mint to it).