The origins of Galawati Kebabs has an interesting historical story. Nawabs of Lucknow (or earlier known as Awadh) were infamous for their overwhelming and luxurious lifestyle. But for our advantage; their extravagant tastes nourished many arts under their patronage. Surely, they must have had palettes of heaven since their bawarchis or rakabdars (Master cooks) created best of the culinary delights. Galawati kebab is one of the jewels of the Awadhi bawarchikhana(Kitchen). Lakhnavi Galawat melt in mouth kebabs are the best you will come across.
The stories behind each of the delicacy are equally delightful. The legend goes for ‘Galawati Kebab’ that, old and aging Wajid Ali shah – Nawab of Kakori (at outskirts of Lucknow and famous for it’s ‘Kakori Kebabs’) lost his teeth, even though his passion for gourmet food was intact, ordered his royal cook to make kebabs for which he would not need his teeth at all. The chef came up with the softest meat kebabs in the world, which simply melted in the Nawab’s mouth: The Galawati Kebab. The word ‘Galawat’ comes from ‘gala’ which means soft enough to swallow. The Galawati kebabs are delicately and fondly cooked using papaya as tenderizing agent which makes it softer than butter and tender as snow. It is said that the authentic Awadhi recipe used more than 150 spices to make this one kebab. This mouthwatering dish is pride of Lucknow and served across country.
I tried making Galawati kebabs at home, hoping to replicate the royal magic and taste. It was no less than that. This is one dish, if you do justice with, you will be very proud to have cooked and served.
I would say go by the recipe, don’t make many changes until you are very sure. Here is the exclusive recipe straight from Lucknow:
Here it is!! Mouthwatering, softest (melt in mouth) kebabs in world are ready. Serve it with paratha or naan accompanied with onions lemon and mint chutney. Mint Dip (Pudina Chutney) is one must have accompany for any kebabs.
Enjoy your melt in mouth experience!
- Meat – ½ Kg finely minced meat of your choice (lamb, mutton, veal or beef), I am using mutton
- Papaya – 2 tbsp
- Onions – 50gm
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
- Red chilly powder (Kashmiri lal mirch) – 2 tbsp
- Roasted Chickpea flour (Besan) – 2 tbsp
- Saffron – 2 to 3 strands
- Rose water – 1/2 tsp (You can also use rose petals instead)
- Milk Powder – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Clarified Butter (Desi Ghee) –to fry
- Cumin Seeds (Jeera) – 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon stick (Daalchini) – 1 inch
- Cloves (Laung) – 4-5
- Green cardamom (Choti elaichi) - 4
- Black cardamom (Badi elaichi) - 2 to 3
- Mace (Javitri) – 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg (Jaifal) – one pinch
- Poppy seed (Khas Khas) – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tsp
- Bay Leaves – 2
- Coal - 1
- Cloves (Laung)– 3
- Green cardamom (Choti Elaichi) - 2
- Clean the papaya, remove the seeds and make a paste. Preferable use raw papaya but if not available, slightly ripened one will also work. Add papaya in finely minced meat and leave it for 2 hrs.
- Heat a pan and slightly roast chickpea flour (besan). Be careful that it shouldn’t get burnt.
- Heat a pan and carefully dry roast Cumin Seeds (Jeera), Cinnamon stick (Daalchini), Cloves (Laung) , Green cardamom (Choti elaichi), Black cardamom (Badi elaichi), Mace (Javitri), Nutmeg (Jaifal), Poppy seed (Khas Khas), Mustard seeds (Rai) and bay Leaves. When spices leave the beautiful aroma and are roasted, switch off the heat and let it cool down.
- Grind it into fine paste after spices are at room temperature.
- Now cut the onions and sautee in 3 tablespoons of ghee. When onion is golden brown, switch off the heat, let it cool down and grind into fine paste.
- Grind ginger and garlic to make a paste. You can use bottled ginger garlic paste though I prefer making it fresh.
- Soak saffron in 2 tablespoon milk around 15-20 minutes before use.
- Add roasted masala powder, sautéed onion paste, ginger garlic paste, roasted chickpea flour, red Chilli Powder (Kashmiri lal mirch), saffron, rose water, milk powder and salt in marinated meat.
- Mix the ingredients very finely with the meat
- Cover the meat with cling film and put in refrigerator for 4 -5 hrs.
- After 4-5 hrs meat is ready, just one more final step to give it authentic flavor.
- Heat a small piece of coal till it starts burning. Put it in a metal bowl and keep it in the center of the vessel containing meat. Add some ghee and put cloves (laung) and green cardamom (Choti elaichi) in it. This will release pleasantly aromatic flavor and flavoured smoke into the meat . Quickly cover the vessel with meat and burning coal with foil so that meat absorbs all very earthy flavour of ghee and coal. Leave it covered for about 15-20 minutes.
- Meat is now ready for kebabs. Make flat patties of the meat. Heat 2 table spoons of ghee in a pan. Fry the patties on very low flame till cooked.
- Here it is!! Mouthwatering, softest (melt in mouth) kebabs in world are ready. Serve it with paratha or naan accompanied with onions lemon and mint chutney. Mint Dip (Pudina Chutney) is one must have accompany for any kebabs.
- Enjoy your melt in mouth experience!