Savoury yogurt kebabs

By Anjum Anand
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These are absolutely delicious and easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients (gram flour is a must in a vegetarian household). They are soft and creamy on the inside but with a lovely crisp exterior. I use a good-quality, thick Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese instead of the traditional paneer, to add a lovely savoury element. Eat these as they are, or with Basil chutney.

YIELDS
10
 TO
12 SMALL KEBABS

Ingredients

Kebabs

  • 220g Greek yogurt
  • 40g gram (chickpea) flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 10g root ginger, peeled weight, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon roasted ground cumin
  • 30g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 2 slices of white bread, crumbed, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves
  • ½-1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Basil Chutney

  • 70g basil (weigh with stalks)
  • 15 pistachios
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • A squeeze of lemon juice to taste
  • A splash of cold water if needed

Directions

Kebabs

  1. The night before, put the Greek yogurt in a sieve lined with muslin, place over a bowl and leave on the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, add the gram flour to a non-stick frying pan and stir over a gentle heat until it has a toasted smell and turns a golden colour, four to five minutes. Scrape into a large bowl. Clean the pan and heat 1 tbsp of the oil. Add the onion; cook gently until just softened. Add the garlic, ginger and salt and cook until the garlic no longer smells raw, 40-50 seconds. Stir in the garam masala and roasted ground cumin, take off the heat and add the gram flour with the drained yogurt, cheese, three quarter of the breadcrumbs, the cilantro, green chilli and black pepper. Stir well and season to taste. It should be creamy but firm enough to roll into balls. If not, add more crumbs. Give the pan a good wipe.
  3. Heat half the remaining oil in the pan until hot. Make little balls of the mixture, flatten and add a batch to the pan. Cook over a gentle flame/heat until the bases are golden brown. Flip over and cook until this side is golden too. Drain on kitchen paper. Repeat, using more oil and kebabs until they are all cooked. Serve with basil chutney.

Basil Chutney

  1. Pick the leaves off the basil stalks and place the leaves in a mini food processor. Add the pistachios, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Process, adding a splash of water to help the blades go round if necessary. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice.

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