“Food is our common ground, a universal experience “.
This recipe of chicken coconut kebabs with stir fried onions and tomatoes is inspired by Lahore’s street food culture. If you ever visit Lahore, the welcoming aroma of BBQ embraces you at almost every street corner.
Kebabs are that popular a street food in my city that there is hardly a neighbourhood that doesn’t have its own small kebab shop. Men of the neighbourhood gather there at night to enjoy kebabs over a hot discussion of political and social issues. When they get up with their palates and stomachs satisfied, at least temporarily,they feel they have sorted out many problems.
Some people get them packed to take back home to enjoy with their families. An odd newly wedd couple pull their chairs to the darkest corner of the street and giggle on while discussing their beautiful future together.
An unexpected guest turns up at dinner time and the servant is sent prompt to the ‘kebab wala’ to bring kebabs for dinner. This is how kebabs are woven into our culture and here I have made an effort to convert this popular street food into a quick and easy yet proper home cooked meal.
This is our dinner tonight,Chicken Coconut Kebabs with Onions and Tomatoes, made within 30 minutes…sooner than it takes you to go get kebabs from bazaar. The addition of coconut gives them extra crisp texture and rich flavour. Enjoy!
For Chicken Coconut Kebabs :
1/2 kg ground chicken
5-6 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 heaped tablespoon dried parsley
1+1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
4-5 tablespoons crushed coconut
2 milk soaked white bread slices
1/2 cup vegetable oil for shallow frying
This Is What You Do :
Place all ingredients in a food processor, whiz till combined properly. Heat oil in a non stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Keep some water in a small bowl close at hand. Wet your hands with this water every time you are shaping a kebab so that it doesn’t stick to your hands. Divide the chicken mix into 12 portions. Take a portion, form a ball with it then flatten and elongate it into a sausage shape by rolling between your palms. Place in the pan for frying. Repeat with all the portions. Do not over crowd the pan, leave space to roll and turn the kebabs around. Fry them till they are golden brown on all sides, almost 8-10 minutes. Keep them warm.
For Stir Fried Onions and Tomatoes :
2 medium onions, cut into rings
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder or BBQ seasoning
A pinch salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
This Is What You Do :
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion rings, tomato wedges and cumin seeds. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, season with salt, curry powder or BBQ seasoning.
Pour the stir fry in a plate, heap kebabs over it, serve with lemon wedges.