Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oven Baked-Chicken Kalmi Kabab in my kitchen

There was a lovely post I happen to come across at Mandira’s blog – in my kitchen . And I really liked what was there being shared with us. So, inspired by that post here I am in my kitchen.  
As we move and relocate a lot and with it, actually I have lost the count how many times, we keep on changing home and with it kitchen as well over these past years. It’s the same feeling every time, when ever I set up the kitchen in our new apartment. It hits me hard when I unpack my stuff and then start sorting them out one by one. Many times I panic, imagining the amount of work that needs to be done to fill in the empty kitchen and empty cup-boards. And perhaps, I am petrified even more when it’s time to do packing again and relocate. What needs to be thrown away or needs to be tagged along- major brain-storming session for us. But then life is just like that when you think everything is going on a routine there comes a drastic surprise that catches you unaware. And many times I have to throw away or give away, new saucepans or some new ceramic plates or bone-china plates as I can’t carry them everywhere. One thing on my list is to carry “sheel-nora” with us, but I know it’s not possible, a total elusive stuff as of now. So, when ever I go back home for a break, I am happy, happy to see my mother churning fresh spices on sheel-nora .And yes she still believes in, that this brings out best flavor in any Bengali food preparations.

But somehow what ever remains with us or what ever goes away from us, the urge to create and make heart-warming food remain always on top-list,a kind of priority, even with very few ingredients or any luxurious surroundings or with any electronic gadgets one can possibly think of.
In my kitchen is this heart which says to live, laugh and love. Three “L “may be this sums up our life.

Then there are couples of sketches by my daughter just stacked over the exhaust hood, this pile goes on increasing, many have been changed and taken over or thrown out, but what ever little I have are these. Those are always kept here.
Then this autumn leave which we collected while walking together one fine day and it’s nearly two years.Dear daughter has pasted it over a round thermocol, and it has stayed ever since in my kitchen.Somehow it reminds us that nothing is immortal here, so always count the blessings one can possibly have.

Then are these two cute Chinese dolls-Yini and Yani, actually these are dear daughter’s penny bank where she earns her share by helping in doing some of the easy chores –like tidying her room and keeping her books neatly.And she likes collecting coins.Some of the old hobbies like coin collection or postal stamp collections,which are these days taken over with crazy electronic gadgets.Some how we still are trying to revive interest in some of the lost hobbies in our daughter.Those old hobbies, where we didn't depend too much on electronic gadgets.

Then there is a breakfast table just adjacent to the open plan kitchen, which is versatile as it serves many other purposes. Sometimes it becomes a breakfast table or at other times a study table or an iron table as well when I have piles of clothes to iron. I don’t know why I am writing this but she really doesn't like all bookish things or the usual mundane study tasks. I have to think about other innovative methods to make her concentrate. I have embraced the fact that what ever happens-will happen for good and that she will find her way, so no rush or hurry in this case.

In my kitchen is this plate of  dry red chilies which I have planed today to dry grind to make home-made red pepper powder, as these brings out the perfect heat one requires in gravies.

When the cooking is done, I put them over the serving table or the breakfast table.This was a special dinner arrangement.Now usually I don't feel like taking pictures after all these time-consuming cooking,in fact I rarely do that.But that day it was different and more over I had some relaxing time before the guest arrived for dinner.So, just thought of utilizing the time clicking some pictures.

And then is this eating spread on that breakfast table- starting from begun bhaja- eggplant –brinjal fry, narkol diye cholar dal- yellow split-pea lentils,matar-paneer korma, chicken kalmi kabab,matar ghee bhaat , mishti doi and bonden and not in picture there was strawberry dessert as a special “farmaiish “ by my daughter. We were doing this special “ranna-banna” for my better half’s friend who was then leaving back to India.

Ok now that you all have peeked into my kitchen – let me share this recipe for chicken kalmi kabab that we made that day.Personally we like to make kalmi  kababs this way, it may be little different than the real kalmi kabab becasue I rarely did the special cuts meant for kalmi kababs.Please use this recipe as mere guidelines.

Chicken kalmi kababour way

Recipe requirements
Chicken leg quarters- 3-4 pieces cut into half - drumsticks and thigh or 10-11 chicken thigh pieces 
1/2 cup of besan-chick pea flour
4-5 heaped tbs of cream or crème fraiche or malai
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of ginger powder

To be toasted and dry grounded
3 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
3 dry red pepper
3 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
3-4 cloves
½ inch cinnamon stick
1 Strand mace- jwaitri
4-5 whole black pepper or white pepper

For the marinating part
½ cup of Greek style thick yogurt or hung curd
1 egg
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of salt or as taste
Coriander leaves
Some mint leaves
Salt as per taste
Saffron milk (optional)
Mitha ittar (optional)

Wash and clean chicken pieces well. Now cut the leg quarters in to half and with the help of knife slightly tear along the flesh so that it can open up and spread.Ok, I tried my level best but then just thought I am no good at doing this. So, I end up making deep incisions in every piece so that the marinating juices can be well soaked. Perhaps if you need to have a proper look about how the cuts of each pieces should be done as this is important , because from this the name – “kalmi kabab” then do according to this video.
Now dry roast the spices listed above-coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red pepper,whole black pepper, cardamoms,mace, cloves and cinnamon for 1-2 mints at medium flame. Now dry grind them in coffee grinder or food processor.You can even use ready-made cinnamon+cardamom powder.
On a medium flame, slowly roast the besan or chick pea flour, so that the raw smell fades away, about 4-5 mints. You may use plain flour as well. I prefer besan-chick pea flour in kababs.
Now just like any kabab recipes, marination is the key. In a big mixing bowl- mix and whisk –besan-chick pea flour, curd,creme and the dry grounded powder that you made earlier.Add salt as per taste. Break in one egg and use the egg white whisking very well.Add in lemon juice and mix slowly.
Coat the chicken pieces very well in the above marinade and keep it in the fridge for about 1-2 hrs.It would be nice if you can do it overnight marination because that way marinating sauce gets in to the chicken flesh well.
Preset an oven at 180 deg C .Place aluminum foil over a flat baking tray; place the marinated chicken pieces with some spaces in between each other pieces. Now put this tray in the middle shelf/rack. Bake the chicken pieces for about 15-20 mints. Take out the tray; baste it with some melted butter or ghee and then flip the sides. Transfer this again to the oven and bake further 20 -25 mints. Check if the chicken pieces are done by pricking with a knife.

Traditionally kalmi kabab are always made in iron- tandoor. This video ,tells you more about the  preparation---You can even check how Kakori kabab is being prepared.

These were relished and enjoyed.

However, if you believe in luxury just like Nawab’s , then sprinkle some saffron infused milk+mitha ittar  just before serving these kalmi kababs or may use while it's marinating.Kalmi kababs and kakori kababs both are traditional Luckhnawi kababs.Now anybody  making these kababs , if you happen to find some missing ingredients in the list or the method , then please share your recipe here.To increase spice level double the quantity of freshly grounded powder.

 I  believe that it should be served with lemon and onion wedges so that squeezing lemon juice on freshly baked Kalmi kababs will enlighten your taste bud following with the crunchiness of onion.
I would say that is what people like us “aam admi”/mango man, I mean common man likes to do .Enjoy.

Happy Cooking Friends


  1. Looks so tempting. Wish I could have few

  2. Khub bhalo laglo tomar post ta Jaya. Shotti ... choto choto jinish e beshi valuable hoye eyi life e. Ar koto bhalo bhalo ranna korecho. Chicken ta darun moist dekhacche abar besh moshladar o. :-)

  3. Awesome looking kalmi kabab.

  4. Bah ki sundoor kabab ta...sotti relocate kore kore ami o najehal :-(

  5. Btw I used to have this impression that kalami kebabs are made with boneless meat !! poor me !! Eita ekbar banate hobe...janabo baniye Jaya...


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