Shikampuri kebab (cheese stuffed kebab)

Recipe adapted from Vah Chef (makes around 20)

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Meat- 500 gms (I used minced beef, you can use beef cubes, minced lamb, lamb cubes, or even chicken)

Chana dal- 1/2 cup, washed till water runs clear

Ground pepper- 1/2 tsp

Cinnamon- 2, 1 inch pieces

Cardamom- 3 pods

Cloves- 2

Dried red chilly- 3

Salt- to taste

Mint leaves- 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Fried onions- 2 tbsp

Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp

Garam masala powder- 1 tsp

Red chilly powder- 1 tsp

Lime juice- 1 tbsp

For the filling

Ricotta cheese- 250 gms (Traditionally, hung curd is used)

Green chillies- 2, finely chopped (add more if you want it spicy)

Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Onions- 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Salt- to taste

Oil- to shallow fry

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Cook together the meat, chana dal, ground pepper, whole spices and red chilly in a pressure cooker with little or no water. I used about 1/4 cup water.

Once you open the cooker, if there is lot of stock, cook on high flame till most of the water has evaporated. 

Keep aside to cool completely and then blend to a paste. Do not add any water.

Transfer this mix to a mixing bowl and add the mint, coriander, fried onions, cumin, garam masala, red chilli powder and lime juice. 

Using your hands, mix the masala into the meat paste, as evenly as possible. 

If you feel that the mix is slightly moist, keep in the refrigerator so its easier to shape.

While the meat is cooking you can also get the filling ready.

Mix together all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. Keep refrigerated till ready to use.

I used ricotta because it was a more convenient option. But even then there was quite a bit of water content in the cheese, so i still hung it in a cloth and tried to get as much water out. 

Assembling

At this stage if you fee that the meat mix is too dry, as in, its cracking while you are tying to make balls, then sprinkle some water and knead well. Add water bit by bit, or else the kebab will fall apart while frying,

Make lime size balls out of the meat mix, you should get around 20 of them.

Flatten it out , make a well and stuff about 1/2 tsp of cheese filling. Bring edges together and seal.

Gently flatten the kebab using your palm, and shape into a round

This takes a wee bit of practise. If the filling is too much then it oozes out, so start with a small quantity and once you get the hang of it, add more filling.

Heat a tawa and drizzle the oil. Not too much oil, just enough to shallow fry.

Fry the kebabs on medium heat till both the sides turn crisp and brown.

Serve with mint chutney.

Notes:

If you are using minced meat, you can cook it in a frying pan as well.

Ive also tried it with Mascarpone cheese and it works fine.

Make sure your filling isnt loose, as it will ooze out of the kebab while frying. remove as much water content possible.

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