Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fish shami kababs

Usually you see beef, mutton, or chicken shami kababs.

I decided to try to make them using fish. This is a #whattodowithshanmasala recipe.

They came out well. This is a complicated and cumbersome recipe. You can make these for a party. These freeze well so it is nice to make a bunch and then keep some in the freezer to defrost as needed.

I used basa fish, but you can use any kind of firm fleshed, mild white fish. Use half the recipe for a family sized amount of shami kababs, but for a party, this will make around 26-30 patties, depending on how big you make your patties. I make mine by scooping two tablespoons into my hand so that I can be sure that all of the patties will be the same size. I don't have kabab skillz like some people who can make all of the patties the same by eyeballing.

Mise en place ready to go. 

2 lbs fish filets cut into pieces, soaked in 1/4 cup vinegar, turmeric, and chile powder (1 tsp each) for 30 mins, then rinsed and patted dry
3 cups boiled channa daal (soak 1.5 cups raw daal for one hour, then boil, lower heat and cook for 20 mins until completely tender but still whole, strain, and set aside)
1 small onion chopped finely
1 small onion chopped roughly
14 green chiles (no need to chop since these will get blended)
3 tbs garam masala
2 heaping tbs Shan Shami Kabab Masala
1 conservative tsp elaichi seeds (unhusked black seed)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
pinch of salt (maybe 1/2 tsp, but taste the patty dough because it will be fully cooked and adjustable)
1 egg for binding
1 tbs lime juice
3-4 eggs for dipping
3 tbs  oil for making the meat
oil for frying shamis


Cooked ingredients.
Heat 3 tbs oil in pot. Add in the finely chopped onions and fry for a few minutes until they become clear. Add in ginger garlic paste and 8 green chiles. Stir this until the ginger garlic is golden. Add in the fish and the powdered masalas. Stir until fish is fully cooked. Add in the lentils and mix well.  Stir till this looks very dry. Turn off the flame. Add salt. Be conservative because you can always add more salt but cannot take salt out. Allow this to cool for a few minutes. Add in the remaining fresh green chiles, mint, the roughly chopped onion, and the cilantro, and mix. Transfer to a blender and blend until it is a smooth paste. If I make this full amount, I do this in three batches with lots of scrape downs of the blender jar. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Taste for salt, and add more if need be. Stir elaichi seeds, and lime juice. Finally, stir in one beaten egg. Put this in the fridge for an hour or two to let it cool completely and firm up a bit.

Blended mixture.
When you are ready to fry, heat up 1/4 cup oil in a wide frying pan. Beat your 3-4 eggs (or however many you need) with a tiny sprinkle of salt. Form patties in your hands and dip them in the egg wash. The fish shami kabab patties are very soft and hard to work with. Fry only a few at a time so you can manage. Put them in the frying pan for a few moments, then turn over and allow to brown on the other side. Remove from oil and keep on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb some of the oil The soft shamis will firm up a bit as they cool down.

Serve these with ketchup or coriander chutney or tamarind chutney. These also go well on a sandwich.


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