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Burra Kabab

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My favorite mutton dish is Burra Kabab. Proabably because my dad used to like it so much. He is a red meat kind of guy. I do not have a good recipe for this though. And I would not even know which parts work best. Any ideas?

Have a lot of people had this dish? Seems kind of scarce around here and scarcer still is a good rendition of this classic dish from north western province in Pakistan.

Another related mutton dish is mutton roasted on hot stones (marble ??) that is, I think, native of the Sindh province. Lightly seasoned. Very very good.


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As I was planning my lamb chapter I wondered if I should have a recipe for it. But decided against it for I thought most people would not know of it or understand it.

How did your dad make it? DId they make it at the restaurant? I know they make it at Bukhara and also I have had it in Bombay.

Do you eat in anywhere in NYC? Maybe Keban King has it in Jackson Heights. I should check on that.

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I make mine with Large lamb chops and even leg pieces.

My tandoor has been thrown since it had wasted away due to age... I await the arrival of the new one sometime later this summer.

I use raw papaya when I can find it and malt vinegar for the marination. Did your father and his chefs use the same?

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Burrah would literally translate as Big. So this is the recipe for those that like large kebabs.

Burrah Kabab

2 lbs. Lamb, chops and leg pieces, cut large

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons cayenne

1/4 teaspoon mace powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon garam masala

3 tablespoons shai zeera (royal cumin/black cumin seeds)

3 tablespoons garlic paste

3 tablespoons ginger paste

2 tablespoon green papaya paste (or use a tablespoon of tenderizer and juice of an extra lemon)

1/2 cup malt vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup hung yogurt

1 teaspoon oil

Canola oil for basting

Marinade the lamb in the above ingredients for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. If you are using meat tenderizer, marinate only for 5 hours.

Skewer the pieces an inch of so apart and roast or grill on a slow fire for 15 minutes or until almost half done.

Take the skewers off the fire and let them stand at room temperature for a half hour. Make sure to hang over a tray so as to prevent the moisture and fat from staining the surface.

Roast or grill on the slow fire for 20 minutes or till nice and brown and cooked.

Serve tossed in some lemon juice and a pinch of garam masala and chaat masala.

NOTE: This is what I was taught at Bukhara. Maybe your father and his chefs have another version? Let us know if that is the case.

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I will ask my dad how it is made at his restaurant. Even in Delhi there is not a lot of people who order it.

I have had it in Jackson Heights (Afghani restaurant) and Bukhara in NYC. It was pretty good.


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As I was planning my lamb chapter I wondered if I should have a recipe for it.  But decided against it for I thought most people would not know of it or understand it.

Suvir - I must admit that I have never heard of Burra Kabab. I am interested in knowing your thoughts on why people would not understand this recipe. Could you elaborate on your reasons for omitting the recipe from your cookbook?

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I wish I could explain what that reason really was. Something inside me told me so. I have made Lamb Chops often and these are very famous amongst the cognescanti in the food world in NYC, at least those in the know of Indian food and in the food scene. So, I am not afraid of lamb.

But for some reason, this recipe seemed one that would seem cumbersome to some.

I will sleep over the question and question my reasons and get back to you.

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