With Ramadan coming up, I thought I’d share one of my favourite iftar recipes with you – Gujarati kebabs. These yummy bajray ke attay ke kebab are my grandmother’s recipe and they’re deliciously more-ish.
Mostly during Ramadan I prefer to break my fast with healthy fruit salad and a cool milky sherbet, or yoghurt and healthy channa chat salad – but once in a while it’s great to indulge in traditional fried goodies. These mince kebabs are bound with Bajray Ka Atta which is millet flour. We Gujratis use it for a variety of dishes – from a delicious, crumbly roti (flatbread) to Muthia which is a scrumptious gumbo-style stew with millet flour dumplings.
Millet flour has a strong flavour that can be an acquired taste but it just adds a nutty background flavour to these kebabs. I like them best with a minty yoghurt chutney or a spicy tamarind chutney – though my kids tend to eat them with chilli garlic sauce!
Bajray Ke Attay Ke Kebab Recipe (Mince kebabs with millet flour)
1 kg Lamb or Goat mince (finely minced)
2 tbsp Pureed garlic
3 tbsp Pureed ginger
If using frozen cubes of pureed garlic and ginger, use 2 cubes garlic and 3 cubes ginger
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp Ground Jeera (cumin)
2 tbsp Whole dhaniya (coriander) seeds, ground roughly in a pestle and mortar
1 tbsp Motta lal mirch powder (chilli flakes of the type you put on pizza)
1 cup Roughly chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup Roughly chopped coriander leaves
1 cup Chopped spring onions (only the green parts)
2-8 Green chillies – finely chopped or pureed.
(Depending on how hot your chillies are and how spicy you like your food )
2 tsp Yoghurt
1/4 kg Millet flour (roughly 2 heaped serving spoons)
1. Drain mince thoroughly after washing – any excess liquid will cause your kebabs to fall apart.
2. Add the garlic ginger pastes, coriander seeds, cumin, chilli powder, chilli flakes, garam masala and salt to the minced meat.
3. Add the yoghurt, chopped mint, green chillies, coriander and spring onions to the mixture.
4. Add the eggs and the millet flour. Mix well.
5. Form loose balls of the mixture and deep fry. It’s important to have a light touch when forming the kebabs – if you squeeze them when you are making the balls, the kebabs lose their texture. Fry on a gentle heat and test one kebab at the beginning to check the seasoning – you can add salt or chilli powder to taste before frying the rest. I make these kebabs a little smaller than a ping pong ball. My mum-in-law makes them even smaller and more rustic for a crunchier crust, which also tastes great.
As these kebabs are fried on a gentle heat, it can be very time consuming. When I have guests, I tend to fry them until they are almost done before my guests arrive. Then, when I’m ready to serve I just give them a quick final fry.
Serve with a minty yoghurt chutney made by whizzing up yoghurt, mint leaves, coriander leaves, salt and green chillies. Alternatively soak some tamarind in hot water, sieve and add roasted cumin powder and red chilli powder to the resulting liquid. Sweeten the tamarind chutney to taste with gur (jaggery), pureed dates or brown sugar.
Note: As usual with my recipes, feel free to tweak the quantities to suit your taste. Like most desi cooks, I don’t usually measure spices – I just add them by eye. The quantities of spices are approximate so feel free to adjust them. My mum’s recipe doesn’t use chilli flakes at all – she uses more green chillies and uses cinnamon instead of garam masala.
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