August 20, 2008
Our Australian neighbour planned an all day BBQ to celebrate turning 21 (again). Of course, the weather here is more Mordor than Melbourne.
So last minute the BBQ, the aptly-named Outback, had to be transported from the communal garden to his three square feet balcony on the second floor of our building.
This threw my party trick into total disarray. Sausages and burgers would work just fine on the billowing monster. But my tandoori chicken was clearly out of the question unless our neighbours fancied masala upholstery.
I took a chance on this Lamb Seekh Kebab recipe, for soft and buttery ground lamb kebabs to share or simply eat all by yourself. If anything was going to impress the 30 grown men and women, it was this.
But by the time I shaped them, had a shower and slipped on a ra ra miniskirt, the party was in full swing. Mounds of food lay all over the table. The crowd were more interested in the vodka on tap than soft, buttery kebabs of Mughal origin.
I sneaked off later, slyly taking the platter of kebabs back downstairs with me. Turned the grill on. Cooked a few to perfection. And ate them with copious amounts of Dhaniya Pudina Chutney and tomato ketchup.
Even the best-laid plans…
Peel the ginger, garlic and remove the hard stalk ends on the mint and coriander. Beat the egg in a little bowl.
In a food processor, whizz the ginger, garlic, fresh coriander and mint together with one quarter of the mince and half the egg. You want to grind the meat to a creamy smooth paste. Then remove this into a large mixing bowl and blitz another quarter of the meat with the remaining egg.
Now, add in the remaining meat in the mixing bowl with the spices and salt and go in with your fingers mixing the whole lot. You want the ground meat and the mince to integrate well together so no one notices that you cheated by not grinding half the mince.
Cover this bowl and chill for about an hour or more if you can. I had a quick beauty sleep.
When you’re ready to go, dampen your hand and divide the mixture into 15 even size lumps. A moist hand will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Then take each lump and shape it like a sausage around each skewer. Keep wetting your palm to make this process really easy.
Finally BBQ or grill on a high flame for 20 minutes turning every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Enjoy piping hot with a green chutney. Preferably in the company of friends…