Pakistan – Seekh Kaba Masala


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by Dahiza Umar

INTRODUCTION TO THE DISH

This dish is a combination of two different dishes that are combined in such a way to make a delicious dish. Seekh kabab is the side dry dish like a meatball but when they are put into the gravy the special dish is formed known as seekh kabab masala. The gravy is known as masala in Urdu and this gravy is the special gravy to balance spices between both components. Because there are two individual dishes themselves. When they are combined they formed a very unique dish. Like these dishes, we can have many varieties. like in Pakistan there is a huge variety of kababs and also different gravies are cooked so we can easily make any gravy with any of the kababs to make the unique dish. The special type of kababs that are commonly cooked with minimal spices addition is white kabab also known as Malai boti kabab. This is like no spices just cream some pepper and salt and garlic ginger paste.

But in Red gravies, there is a huge use of spices to make it spicy and even aromatic. The maximum use of Pakistani spices is just for the sake of aroma to the dish. For a Pakistani dish, even a Punjabi dish, the use of spices and oil or butter is very important. This seems to make a dish more delicious, smells amazing, and also looks very tasty.

The kababs here can be cooked by using chicken meat or mutton or beef meat. It is up to you like which meat you wanna eat. Mostly chicken is the choice but beef is also very good in making kababs because of the taste of it. Although beef took a lot of time in cooking. We have to make meat mince marination for the kabab and then cook the kabab on coal or either grill it. Then cook the gravy separately with all the spices and vegetable masala. Mix both partially cook components together and let them infused into each other taste.

To cook the dish like this we have to make the components separate and it requires lots of time. But the taste of these dishes is worth it.

NAMING OF THE DISH

The name of the dish is formed by using the names of two dishes. The one dish is Seekh Kabab and the other is Masala that is gravy. The name of seekh Kabab has separate naming according to the use of cooking equipment.

  • SEEKH KABAB means the kabab that are cooked on the seekh. Seekh is the the urdu name for skewers.
  • MASALA is the name for any gravy or curry cooked either for any meat masala, vegetables masala and kabab masala. This is the gravy of some vegetables and spices.

If this dish is cooked in the utensil like Karahi a cooking wok, this will be named as Kabab Karahi or Seekh kabab karahi. This gravy is granular and not mixed properly as the gravy of Masala that is mixed and seems to like a unanimous mixture. In karahi, we can see the separate ingredients and spices because they are not mixed well.

There are few different kinds of kabab and barbeque stuff to mixed all things in a gravy and its a new dish.

TIKKA

Tikka is a large pieces of meat marinated and cooked by grilling, frying, or on the charcoal for having a new smoky flavors. This is like a large meat bites but very good in taste and color as well with the spices.

BOTI

Boti is like small pieces of the meat either chicken, beef or mutton. Sometimes fish can also be used in dishes like these. There are very small bite sized pieces.

KABAB

Kabab can either be very long or small. There are many huge variety of kabab cooked in Pakistan. Small tikka kabab, Round goal kabab, long seekh kabab.

COMPONENT OF THE DISH

In this dish we have two seperate components that are assembled in one dish.

KABAB

Kabab is a dish used as the side dish and also as the snacks. This is also added in the sandwiches and some other stuffed snacks. But this kabab masala dish is the main course dish and eaten with some bread, sauce, and salad. Kababs have huge variety and then this is added into any gravy to make the exotic dish like this. All we need to cook both the seperate dishes and assemble them. Kababs are cooked by raw meat mince so they need seperate cooking time then gravy.

While making kababs we have few things to focuses on like which kind of meat are you using. If you are using hard cooking meat like beef, it required more cooking timing then the chicken.

Meat varieties can be used in this kabab for making kabab gravy are :

  • Beef is mostly used meat in making kabab.
  • Chicken is all time favourite meat for anyone so this meat is also commonly used in making kababs
  • Mutton is the rare meat but it is used in some of the restaurants.
  • Fish is eaten in Pakistan in winter so it is not very commonly cooked in summers and have very less varieties.

MEAT VARIETY

Meat varieties cooked commonly in Pakistan as an Islamic country and we only consume Halal meat that are :

  • Mutton
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Prawns

But in Other western countries, there are huge meat varieties from which dishes like kabab can be cooked :

  • Pork
  • Octopus
  • Bacon, etc.

MASALA/ GRAVY/ CURRY

Masala is known as Gravy in Urdu language. This is the element of any Pakistani dish. Any dish is cooked by using the gravy with some different spices but the main purpose is same. This dish is eaten with bread so it required to be a heavy gravy and the main element that is Kababs.

There are few different gravies cooked and eaten in Pakistan. Few are very spicy and some are mild with the addition of cream and yogurt to it. The name of gravy is also given by the color and use of ingredient into it. Like green Curry or gravy is basically cooked either by spinach and cilantro so they named as green curry.

VARIETIES OF GRAVY

  • GREEN CURRY is cooked by adding some additional vegetables most probably spinach and cilantro. Sometimes to make it spicy green chilies are also added into the dish.
  • RED CURRY is the spciy curry by adding red chili powder, red chili flakes, etc. In this curry the addition of other different spices are aso very common.
  • WHITE CURRY is the mildest among all other varieties like it has few spices and the use of cream with yogurt. Salt, pepper cream and that’s all for the white curry.

Most of the gravies are cooked by adding vegetables like onion, tomatoes, garlic and ginger. These are must vegetables but the cooking procedure and addition of spices are different some gravy to gravy.

HISTORY OF THE DISH

All the traditional Pakistani dishes are originated from the Mughal Empire at the time of Indian Subcontinent. In Pakistani cuisine, the traditional dishes are mostly cooked as they were cooked at that time. Instead of the cooking tolls and equipment. Before it was cooked over the woods and few utensils to make the dish.

Seekh kababs are now popular because of cooking method especially on the charcoal and woods but at old times, every meal and every dish was cooked over the woods. So all dishes were delicious and even more tasty.

There are many meat dishes popular at the Mughal Empire and still they are popular and appreciated by people. All the traditional dishes cooked by using especially Mutton meat from Pakistani cuisine are from the era of the MUGHAL EMPIRE from the Indian Subcontinent before separation of both countries.

ORIGIN OF THE DISH

This dish was originated from the Indian Subcontinent but it is said that the first Kabab was introduced by the Turkish Traders before the King as their delicacy. From that day Muslim cook evolved that dish according to the South asian taste and serve. This was love by the people and this dish still has the roots.

This dish is popular in different regions like

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Turkey
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Ghanna
  • Greece
  • Iran
  • Levant
  • Spain
  • Romania, etc.

VARIETIES OF KABAB

CHAPLI KABAB

This kabab is famous delicacy from the city Peshawar. This is especially made by beef meat mince. This dish has special spices to be added on. It has flat round shape and deep fried into the animal Tallow.

Tallow is the animal fat consumed as the oil for cooking purposes.

  • It is also popular in Bangladesh
  • It is cooked and fried in tallow fats
  • Chapli in pushto, chaprikh, meaning “flat” 
  • It is thin, flat and round kabab
  • It has over 2,000 years ago kabab recipe famous in Peshawar.

SEEKH KABAB

This is very famous Punjabi variety of kababs cooked on barbeque style. This is cooking by arranging them over the skewers and then cook on the charcoal. This dish also has few important elements specified for seekh kabab

  • This dish is cooked by arranging them over the seekh also known as skewers.
  • It is mostly cook by barbeque and over the charcoal.
  • It is also deep fried in the oil
  • It has long and thick shape.
  • It is served with naan and chutney.
  • In West it is known as DONER KABAB

RESHMI KABAB

Reshmi kabab are mostly cooked by chicken meat mince. This dish is inspired by Mughal influence in which the use of lot of cream, yogurt and cashew nut is must.

  • This is mild in taste
  • Very most and moist.
  • It is cooked in the TANDOOR, also known as stove oven.
  • The word Resham means SILK, so they are as soft to melts in the mouth like silk.

MALAI TIKKA KABAB

Tikka is usually bites of meat pieces. It can either be large pieces or small. The use of malai means Cream. This is small pieces marinated with tikka spices and one additional cream ingredient to make it creamy and soft.

  • Tikka is small meat pieces marinated with spices.
  • Malai means addition of cream into the chicken or beef marination.
  • Mostly chicken is used in this dish.
  • This is soft and looks like reshmi kabab.
  • Reshmi kabab has use of mince but this dish has addition of meat pieces.

SERVED WITH

This is a dish served with bread or roti, like :

  • Sada roti
  • Garlic Naan
  • Butter Naan
  • Cheese Naan
  • Laccha paratha
  • Khameeri roti
  • Phulka
  • Sada Naan
  • Roghani roti

COMPLEMENTARY SAUCES

  • Raita
  • Pumkin raita
  • Green chili chutney
  • Plain yogurt
  • Mint chutney
  • Zeera yogurt

COMPLEMENTARY SALAD

  • Cucumber salad
  • Kachumbar salad
  • Onion and tomatoes mixture
  • Green chilies

TIME REQUIRED

  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time : 40 minutes

NUTRITIONAL ASPECTS

  • Calories : 180
  • protein : 19 grams
  • carbohydrates : 12 grams
  • Fat : 15 grams

COOKING METHODS

To cook any kababs we have many different cooking option to follow :

BARBECUE

The charcoal cooking procedure is now very popular in restaurants and also BARBEQUE dinners are arranged for family and friends. It isvery unique and nice way of get together. More important in this cooking method, less use of oil is an advantage. There are some kabab variety that is only cooked by this cooking method like :

  • Seekh kabab
  • Seekh boti kabab
  • Tikka Kabab
  • Tikka Boti

GRILLING

Grilling is a very healthy cooking technique because in this technique the work is done either by oven or Air fryer. Just sprinkle few oil or butter drops to make it color nice over the top and cooking it done by roasting.

FRYING

There are some Kababs cooked by frying either in deep oil frying or shallow frying.

Shallow frying can be done by adding a small amount of oil to dip the kabab half of the length in the pan.

Deep frying is used widely to cook kababs in deep pan where the whole kabab is dipped inside the oil and cooking is done.

  • Shami Kabab
  • Chapli kabab

INGREDIENTS OF KABAB

  • Beef mince : 1 kg
  • Onions chopped : 4 tbsp
  • Salt : 1 tbsp
  • Red chilies flakes : 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder : 1 tsp
  • Tikka masala powder : 2 tbsp
  • Garlic paste : 1 tbsp
  • Ginger paste : 1 tbsp
  • Green chilies paste : 1

COOKING METHOD OF KABAB

  • Take beef mince and wash it properly. Now we have to dry the mince so that further spices are mixed. If the meat mince is wet, the kababs donot hold their shape and spread in the masala.
  • When the mince is dried completely, add the spices and vegetables like choped onions, and garlic ginger paste.
  • Leave this mixture to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Take the metal skewers and grap a spoonfull of marinated meat to make a kabab on skewers.
  • Make it thick and longer that can hold the shape over skewers.
  • Preheat the charcoal grill and place the skewers with kabab over it.
  • Turn it after 2 to 3 minutes for proper cooking and nice color.
  • Drizle the oil over the kabab so it will make the color very vibrant over the kabab.
  • Cook them completely and let it aside until the gravy is cooked.

INGREDIENTS FOR GRAVY/ MASALA

  • Onions : 2 medium sized
  • Tomatoes : 4
  • Garlic cloves : 8
  • Ginger : 1 inch block
  • Green chilies : 6
  • Oil/ Ghee : 1/2 cup
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder : 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder : 2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder : 2 tbsp
  • Yogurt : 1 cup
  • Cream : 1/2 cup

COOKING METHOD OF MASALA

  • Take all the vegetables like onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger with green chilies in the mixing blender with half cuo of water to blend all the vegetables into the paste like texture.
  • Take oil in the cooking wok and add the vegetable paste into the oil and cook the mixture completely.
  • Cook until all the water is evaporated so we need to add all the dry spices into the vegetables mixture.
  • Now when the mixture is all assembled, add yogurt and cream to mix properly.
  • After 5 minutes of adding yogurt, add all the cooked kabab and cover the lid of pot for infusion of spices.
  • After 10 minues serve it with naan and some mint sauce.
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