The Mughals brought kebab culture to the Indian subcontinent, we adapted it as our own and have cherished the various forms for centuries now. “Seekh” is a metal skewer used to grill pieces of meat on open fire or grill. But a thicker, rounded rod is used to make seekh kebabs with minced meat, not the flat skewer. Putting minced meat onto the skewers, shaping it into neat , long, smooth kebabs that do not fall off the skewers while cooking requires a little skill to begin with.
For red meat kebabs, a little animal fat is added to the mix that keeps them from falling. Chicken mince when pounded together with masalas develops a texture and consistency that’s the easiest to keep on the skewers. Fish meat gets kind of flaky when cooked that’s why it’s the trickiest to keep it from disintegration so we add binders like bread slices, egg and gram flour to the mix.
Fish kebab or Mahi kebab initially became popular in the coastal areas, where seafood has been a main source of protein. Chunks of fish or whole fish marinated in a gorgeous blend of spices and lemon juice, or fish mince mixed with herbs and spices makes the most exotic grilled food ever and have taken the tandoori cuisine to an entirely different level of finesse. With fish gaining popularity as healthy food, fish kebab have also come into high demand with health conscious people all over the world.
Serve them over onion rings, with fresh salad, chutneys, French fries, parathas or butter rice – Fish Kebabs taste great with a number of sides. Quick and easy to make, they are ideal for any special occasion.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic powder
2 green chilli peppers, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper corn
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small stick cinnamon
salt to taste
2 bread slices
2 tablespoons gram flour
/4 cup sunflower or olive oil
This Is What You Do:
Meanwhile add red chilli flakes, black pepper corns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon and cloves to an electric grinder. Grind to fine powder. Set aside.
Finely chop green chilli peppers and mint leaves. Set aside.
Lightly grease a frying pan. Cook fish on medium low heat on both sides till all the liquid evaporates from it.
When cool enough to handle, mash it up in a big mixing bowl. Add the spice blend, ginger-garlic powder, salt, gram flour and egg. Mix well.
Soak the bread slices in water and then squeeze out all the water by pressing them in your fist.
Add these wet and broken bread slices to the fish in the bowl. Mix everything by hand till it combines to look like soft dough.
Wet your hands with a little water or oil. Shape the fish mix into long seekh kebab/sausage like shapes.
Heat the remaining oil in a non stick frying pan. Shallow fry the kebabs for a few minutes or till golden on out side. For frying in the pan, you can also shape them like flat, round patties.
Or shape them on BBQ skewers and grill.
For grilling on skewers, choose thick, rounded or square skewers.
Remember to wet your hands before shaping kebabs.
Press them hard to form the shape.
Don’t add chopped onions to seekh kebabs because they tend to release moisture making the seekh kebab mixture loose, in which case it is difficult to apply and tends to fall off.
Use ginger garlic powder instead of paste.
Chilling the mixture before grilling also helps.
Makes 6-7 kebabs.