So there is a bit of a story behind today’s recipe of tunde kebabs. There are actually two stories. One about tunde ke kebabs and the other about the source of this recipe.
But first for the uninitiated Tunde ke kebabs are finely minced lamb meat kebabs made famous by a one armed chef Murad Ali (nicknamed Tunde because of his one arm) in Lucknow. The original recipe is a close guarded secret but it is believed that the kebabs are made with a mix of 160 spices.* (I don’t think I could name 160 spices, let alone make a dish with 160 spices. But maybe I could.Mental Note: make a list of all the spices I know.) The cooked kebabs are so delicate that they crumble when you hold them and melt in your mouth as soon as you bite into them.
The first time I had these kebabs was during my undergrad years. When I was living in a hostel in Delhi. One of my friends, G, was from Lucknow. When she went home or if someone was coming from Lucknow, more often than not these bites of heaven would pay our stomachs a visit too. And since then I was hooked. More than a year back, I ate them again at G’s wedding. Still as good as how I remembered them to be. You know how it is when you have this memory of something or someone making you feel so good, and you keep building that feeling up and when you do get a chance to eat it (or see that person) again you realize you had just overhyped it. These kebabs were nothing like that. They were still every bit delicious. Now the second part of the story happened a few months back. My dad was still in the Air Force (good times!) and posted at Allahabad. We were invited to dad’s staff officer’s house for lunch and he made mutton kebabs. Flavor wise they were delicious. He served them as tunde ke kebabs. And said he got the recipe from the guy who makes these in Lucknow. And I knew I had to try the recipe. He was generous enough to share and I tried them and loved the recipe.
Now since there are many people serving the famous tunde ke kebabs, so I am not sure how original this recipe is to the original tunde ke kebab recipe. For one, it does not have 160 spices. Just a handful, and I think for most home cooks an easy way to get a good tasting kebab. Two, I doubt such a close guarded recipe would be leaked by the cook in a drunken state, but then drunk people are known to do stupid stuff, so who knows we might have a heavily guarded secret being leaked on this site today!
Since taste wise these were pretty great even though they might not be the tunde kebab recipe, I thought they were worthy enough to share with you all today. Read More →
A light and easy to prepare vegan Indian dish (varan) made of split pigeon peas/toovar dal from the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The days leading up to my dad’s retirement were full of farewell dinners hosted by many of my dad’s friends and colleagues. Each day my parents had a dinner engagement either at somebody’s house or the Mess and to a few of these dinners I, too, was invited. In that one month of dining out almost everyday, we tasted a variety of menus, ranging from a cheese and wine dinner to Kashmiri food to traditional Maharashtrian fare. I don’t think I have ever eaten so much, and of course the weighing scale made sure I never forgot it either. But then, I got to taste so many different things- some new, some old, some good, some very good. In the end it was all worth it.
As mentioned before, at one of the dinners we were served traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. It was all beautifully served, pre-plated in a Thali, a total of close to 15 dishes, each prepared by our very gracious hostess. My mom particularly loved the dal and the kadhi and asked for both the recipes, which the hostess was kind enough to share. While certain Indian dishes have been made more popular worldwide, there are a lot of Indian dishes that are unknown to most people and what you see being served in restaurants abroad are mostly North indian favorites. So, I hope you enjoy this recipe that I am sharing with you today, which comes from the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai and to the famous Bollywood industry. Read More →
My parents’ cook made this amazing lamb curry the other day. Like lip smacking good. Even my sister-in-law who is technically a vegetarian but being married to a strictly non-vegetarian family sometimes eats the occasional chicken, fish and meat, loved it.
The mutton was perfectly cooked, the flavors spot on. So I asked my cook to teach me how to make the dish. He said its Mutton Rogan Josh but when I saw him prepare and read about the dish online I realized his recipe wasn’t traditional of rogan josh. But it was great to taste, so I had to share the recipe with you all.
Traditional Rogan Josh does not use onions or garlic, nor does it use tomatoes, although there are various versions online and various restaurants across India that serve mutton made with the above mentioned ingredients and serve it as Mutton Rogan Josh. But since I do not want to face the wrath of Kashmiri Pandits who made famous this dish in India, I will just name today’s recipe Mutton Curry. A very delicious mutton curry.
If you are fond of lamb/mutton based recipes, you should also check out my mom’s Mutton Patiala recipe. My mom made it for V when she had come to US to visit us, and to date he still talks about how good it was.
And since we are talking about lamb and mutton, I have always been confused about the difference between the two. But then some time with my good friend Google helped clear the confusion.
Lamb is a sheep that is slaughtered between the ages of 4 months to 12 months. The meat from an older sheep that is slaughtered is called mutton. It is more tough and intense in flavor and requires an acquired taste. Probably thats why it is not so popular in the States. And thats why I hardly cook it there, since its more difficult to find in grocery stores. But since I am in India these days, am able to share this recipe with you today. If you are a mutton fan, I recommend you try this recipe out.