Growing up I was not fond of Biryani, chicken or vegetarian. I don’t know why but the only rice based dish I liked was rajma chawal. Nothing else. So I avoided biryani and the likes. Of course later things changed but my true love for biryani started on one of my trips to Goa. My brother was posted there. He still is. I know, its awesome! Everyone should have a family member in Goa. It should be the norm.
About 6 years back, my parents and I went to visit my brother and his wife and they kept talking about the Biryani from a place called Anantashram.
They make handi biryani and the biryani is served in the clay pot/ handi that they make it in. One bite and I was in love. I don’t remember how many times I ate the biryani on that trip but I had countless dreams of it when I was back, and every biryani I ate was compared to the biryani from Anantashram. Sadly, over the years their quality has gone down. On a recent trip I tried it and it was a let down. My brother and sister in law resonated my feelings, and had also told us beforehand that it might not be the same as the first time we had it.
Besides the biryani disappointment our Goa trip was a huge gastronomical success. As you can see in this post. We all came back with our clothes a little tighter. And I came back in search of a new Biryani as my yardstick.
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 →
Since I wanted to give the cake to a few people, I thought it would be best to make cupcakes out of the recipe, since they are always more easy to share.
Most cake recipes can be successfully converted to cupcakes without changing anything except their baking times (and of course the pan you using to bake). Cupcakes generally take lesser time to bake than cakes. According to the recipe instructions the cakes take 35 minutes to bake, but my cupcakes were done in 20 minutes, and might even take 18 minutes for you, so check for doneness around that time. They will be done when a tester comes out clean.
This recipe yielded 32 cupcakes for me, but depending on how you fill your cupcake pans you could get more or less. The frosting was enough to frost 32 cupcakes, with some frosting still leftover.