Despite the fact that it has been more than half century since we parted ways with India, some of its traditions still remain with the Pakistanis of Indian origin. Of them, the most famous is Bihari Kebab. Being a Bihari has always been a very prominent part of my identity. Whenever I scored positions or did something extraordinary, all credit was given to my Bihari origin as it was believed that Biharis are born intelligent. Moreover, when I did something impossible, people again chose to credit my Bihari cast and not myself for those amazing skills, all the while quoting the famous adage: jo na kata yaari se wo katay Bihari se.

But one thing for which I always received the credit was the Bihari Kebab.

Though Pakistan has a rich variety of kebabs in its cuisine, Bihari Kebabs have somewhat remained irreplaceable. Whether they are Bihari or not, everyone in Karachi is a Bihari Kebab lover!

Whenever my friends taste them they give me the same compliment:“Kese banaletay ho yar tum log?” (“How do you guys make this?”) In fact many of our neighbors come up to us with their spices asking us to mix them so that they can get that ideal Bihari touch in their dish. However, what is unknown to most of the people is that the superior taste does not lie in the hands of the Bihari but the proportion of spices they add. This is the reason why most of the people, despite using the same spices, fail to make their Kebabs taste as good as Biharis make them.

Complementary raita or chutney is a must have with the traditional kebabs. Red chutney is usually served for people who like their food spicy. This is due to the fact that the kebabs are mild in their flavor. However for those who prefer extremely spicy food, red chutney is the best option to change the kebabs to their taste. Certain people find Bihari Kebabs a touch too spicy. It is to meet their needs that a complementary raita is must have with them.

In this blog, I intend to reveal the ideal Bihari Kebab recipe which can help all the BBQ lovers enjoy the perfect Bihari taste in their cuisine. Not just the ingredients but the duration and techniques of marination help the kebabs give them their quintessential taste.

THE RECIPE

Ingredients:

For meat:

Beef ½ kg

Papaya paste 1-2 tsp

Mustard oil half cup

Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp

Lemon juice 1-2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp

Poppy seed 1 tsp

Yogurt 1 cup (approx 125 grams)

Cumin (roasted) 1 tsp

Coriander seeds crushed (half tsp)

Salt: to taste

For red chutney:

Dry red chilies (boiled): 10-15

Lemon Juice: 1/4th cup

Onion, chopped and sautéed: 1

Brown sugar: 1 tbsp

Roasted Cumin seeds 1tsp

Chaat masala: ½ tsp

Salt: to taste

Oil: 2-3 tsp

For Raita:

Yogurt: 1 cup (slightly blend with the help of folk)

Cucumber: 1-1 ½

Salt: 1 tsp  

Chaat masala: 1 tsp

Cumin (roasted): half tsp

Garnish:

Onion (cut into rings)

Coriander as per need

Ginger, slivered

Lemon, sliced: 2-3

Method:

1.      Grind and mash the meat and add oil and papaya paste into it. Leave for 12 hours.

2.      Add ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, cumin, coriander seeds, red chili powder, all spices, salt, yogurt and poppy seeds to it and let the mix rest for next 4-6 hours.

3.      Heat the coals. Pull the meat mixture onto the skewers and place it on the coals.

4.      Once the kebabs change color to light brown, take them off the coals.

5.      Slide the kebabs onto a dish. Garnish them with onion, lemon, coriander and ginger.

For Red Chutney:

1.      Boil the red chilies.

2.      Sauté chopped onions for 3-4 minutes

3.      In a blender, add red chilies, lemon juice, salt, chaat masala, brown sugar, onion, and roasted cumin along with oil and blend well.

4.      Serve with the sizzling kebabs.

For Raita:

1.      Beat yogurt with the help of a beater.

2.      Add cucumber (chopped), salt, cumin and chaat masala and stir well.

3.      Serve with the kebabs.