From Kashmir on the North to the Deccan in central India, the Mughals exerted their political influence and creative genius. Nowhere is the mystery of these great connoisseurs more evident than in the presence of the timeless wonder of the Taj Mahal and in their remarkable cuisine. The Mughal-influenced cuisine of northern India is distinguished by its non-vegetarian Arab, Persian, and Mughal influences, which include an emphasis on lamb and chicken. Northern Indian cuisine overwhelms one with the delicacy and seductive flavors and textures of its luxurious sauces of dahi, cream, and crushed nuts, and with its succulent lamb and chicken dishes. Today this legacy is widely admired throughout India and the rest of the world.
Braised Meatballs in Yogurt (Dahiwala Kebab)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
1 fresh green chili
1 teaspoon roasted ground coriander
1 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
2 pounds ground lamb or chicken
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
Salt to taste
¼ cup corn oil
In a food processor, place the yogurt, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and mint leaves and puree to a fine mixture. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the ground meat, egg, bread crumbs, and salt and thoroughly mix. Divide into 20 uniformly sized meatballs and set aside.
Prepare the barbecue charcoal grill or heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently place the meatballs in the oil. Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the meatballs are golden brown and crisp. Turn over the meatballs, cover and cook for another 7-10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir gently until the liquid has evaporated.
Serve on roti with Sweet Mint Chutney and salad or skewer each meatball with a toothpick and serve as hors d’oeuvres.
Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well! Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.