Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Galouti Kebabs "Kebab's for Royalty" AKA Tunde Kebab

The word "Galouti" or "Galavati" in hindi or urdu means "to dissolve or melt". Indian folklore has it that the aging Nawab of Awadh (Oudh) Nawab Wajid Ali Shah had lost most of his teeth but not his undying desire and love for Awadhi and Mughlai meat dishes. Since the royal cooks could not come up with a dish best suited for the toothless Nawab Saab a competition was held in Lucknow in which the winner would enjoy royal patronage. The winning dish came from one Jannab Haji Murad Ali and so came into existence the Galouti or Tunde Kebab, perfect for the toothless Nawab who continued savouring this until his last day.

The Tunde ke Kebab in Chowk, Lucknow which is more than 100 years old now is considered the most famous outlet for choicest Kebabs till date. Tunde Kebab is so named because it was a specialty of a one-armed chef. Haji Murad Ali while flying a kite fell from the rooftop of his house and lost one of his arm and was nick named "Tunde Miyan" by friends, hence the name Tunde Ke Kebab. The ingredients of the Tunde Kebab's masala, which makes the Kebab unique is a guarded secret and is prepared by the women in the family.It is said that at least 125-160 spices and ingredients are there in this recipe. 

Abul Mansoor Meerza Muhammed Wajid Ali Shah
Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was a poet, playwright, dancer and great patron of the arts. He is widely credited with the revival of Kathak as a major form of classical Indian dance. One of his very famous legacy and gift to Indian classical music is the Bhairavi Thumri "Babul More Nahiyar Chooto Jaaye"

Coincidently his sad song epitomises the pain and agony of the poet king himself when he was exiled from his beloved Lucknow to Kolkata.

"बाबुल मोरा, नैहर छूटो ही जाए
बाबुल मोरा, नैहर छूटो ही जाए
चार कहार मिल, मोरी डोलिया सजावें (उठायें)
मोरा अपना बेगाना छूटो जाए | बाबुल मोरा ...
आँगना तो पर्बत भयो और देहरी भयी बिदेश
जाए बाबुल घर आपनो मैं चली पीया के देश | बाबुल मोरा ...

Okay, enough of history and back to the recipe...let me first lay out a few RULES which we will follow while making these soft, succulent and awesome kebabs;

First Rule : We ONLY use Ghee (Clarified Butter) for this dish. If you are a health conscious soul you can opt for refined oil but forget about the authentic taste.

Second Rule : DO NOT compromise on the ingredients of the Galouti Masala. This is the secret which I have unearthed thru months of research and is closest to the real family guarded secret.

Third Rule : The minced meat you buy should preferably come from the pada / Calf (young one of a goat or sheep). If you are buying from the frozen section of the food store then make sure you mince it again two three times after marinating it with spices as explained in later stages.

Fourth Rule : Smoking the Marinated dough with burning charcoal and spices and ghee a MUST. Kneading the dough as much as possible. I do it for almost 45 minutes in total. Once you knead it for 10 minutes let it rest for 10 minutes...and so on.

Fifth Rule : Don't Forget the above rules :)

Okay so first things first the Ingredients for Kebabs :
"Tunde ke Kebab"

Superfine Minced Lamb Meat 1/2 Kgs. (FAT FREE)
Raw Papaya (Meat Tenderizer) 75 grams or 2 Tablespoon.
Ginger Paste 1 Tablespoon
Garlic paste 7-8 pods
Green Chillies Chopped 2
Cilantro Chopped a handful
Onion Paste (Very Important 2 large onions caramelized in ghee and then blend into a fine paste)
Egg 1
Salt to taste
Gram Flour (make fresh after dry roasting Peela Chana) 3 Tablespoon

Galouti Kebab Masala : 

Kashmiri lal mich 2-3
Saunf 1/2 Tablespoon
Dried Rose Petals 1/3 of a cup
Coriander seeds 1 Tablespoon
Sahi Zeera 1/2 Tablespoon
Cloves 3-4
Green Cardamoms 3-4
Bada Imambada, Lucknow
Pepper Corns 5-10
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Black Cardamoms 1-2
Khus ki Jad (Roots) 1/4 inch
Paan ki Jad (Roots) 1/4 inch
Bay leaf 2
Mace 2
Nutmeg a Pinch
Poppy seeds 1/4 Tablespoon
Saffron 5-6 strands

Directions :

Mix the minced meat with ground ingredients mentioned above. Leave aside for 4 to 5 hours. 

DO NOT mix the, chopped coriander leaves, chopped green chillies, salt, gram flour and egg.

Now after 4-5 hours if you have a mincer at home mince the mixture again or else just kned the dough well for at least 30 minutes (take breaks in between and let the mixture rest)

Now , add coriander leaves, chopped green chillies, salt, gram flour and egg, mix and knead well and refrigerate for 30 mins.

Now a very important process we need to follow, take the kebab mixture knead it for 6-7 minutes then make a pit in the center of the vessel containing it, now take a small bowl place burning charcoal in it and over it put 2-3 green cardamoms, cloves and a pour half a tablespoon of ghee on it (be very careful while pouring ghee over charcoals) and immediately cover it with a aluminum foil or a plate. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and we are ready to roll. 

Heat ghee in a flat heavy bottom frying pan or griddle plate. Now wet your hands slightly and roll the kebabs. Grill kebabs from both sides on medium heat.

Serve hot garnished with sliced onions and roomali roti or warqi parantha.

I am sure that if you follow all the ground rules and are able to source the ingredients mentioned above, you will be pleasantly surprised by the end product. All the time and efforts are well paid when you take a bite of this kebab. The burst of flavors and taste will make you a mureed of this Awadhi Dish….my favorite “Galouti Kebab" 

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