Baked Lentil Kebabs
EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: KABAB TIME
RECIPE: BAKED LENTIL KEBABS
Baked Lentil Kebabs with flavours from the Middle East and the Indian Sub Continent are soft, delectable and easy to make. In brief, these kebabs make a wonderful starter and are easy to make. Also nutritious and best part is that they are gluten free and vegan. Serve them with any chutney or dip of your choice.
What Are Kebabs?
In fact, Kebabs are known by several different names all sounding the same – kebaps, kababs, kebob, kabobs. Indeed, Kebabs originate from the Middle East where chunks of marinated meat and vegetables are strung on skewers and cooked over charcoal grills. As a matter of fact, the word kebab in Arabic means grilled or broiled meat. In the olden days there were no fancy bamboo skewers or metal ones. Soldiers used their swords to string the meat pieces and grilled it over open fire.
Then, there are doner kebabs where long strips of meat are carefully layered around a big skewer, roasted. The outer cooked meat is carefully sliced and served while the exposed part gets roasted.
Kebabs And The Indian Sub Continent
In general, when it comes to the Indian Sub Continent, kebabs take on a whole different meaning. Mostly, ground meat is used. Spices, chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chilis are added. Then, the mixture is shaped around a skewer or shaped into discs or oval. Next, the kebabs are then cooked in a tandoor or fried.
Generally, strung pieces of meat and vegetables on skewers are cooked in a tandoor, roasted in the oven or on a skillet. Usually, they are referred to as tikka.
By the way, some of the most popular kebabs are shammi kebab, reshmi kebabs, chapli kebabs, kalmi, paneer, boti, seekh, hariyali, galouti, shikampur.
In brief, it is believed that kebabs originated in the Turkish kitchens, and were brought to the Indian Sub Continent by the Afghans. Kebabs became popular during the Mughal Era.
During the rule of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, his cooks took kebabs to a whole new level. In fact, the ruler had bad teeth but yearned for kebabs. As a result, the royal cooks of Lucknow developed melt in the mouth kind of kebabs which till today are a must have if one visits Lucknow.
Did you know that the famous kakori kebabs were named after the famous Independence Movement against the British Rule -Kakori Conspiracy of 1925? The normal seekh kebabs became much softer and more aromatic.
Kebabs For Vegetarians
Not to be left out, cooks came up with recipes whereby Vegetarian Rulers and guests could enjoy kebabs. Vegetarian kebabs are made with vegetables, paneer, thick yogurt, roots, corn, tapioca pearls, lentils, beans, etc.
Surprisingly, I don’t have that many kebab recipes on the blog. Perhaps because sometimes it becomes difficult to differentiate between veg kebabs and tikkis or pattis.
The Few Recipe I Have, You Might Want To Check Them Out:
Hara Bhara Kebabs, made from paneer, peas, spinach and potatoes.
Veg Kebab Paratha – famous street food from Uttar Pradesh.
How Are Baked Lentil Kebabs Served?
- Specifically, Kebabs can be served as starters or appetizers with various chutneys and dips. Sometimes they are served with flatbread as part of a meal.
- In fact, some kebabs were left over, and next day I warmed them up and used them to make a pita sandwich.
- Actually, it is a good way to get kids to enjoy lentils. Don’t make the kebabs spicy.
A bit about the group:
In brief, every month a new theme is chosen by members. Furthermore, the participants are paired up. In turn, they give each other 2 secret ingredients to use in their recipe which is prepared fitting the theme. As soon as their dish is ready, the photo is shared on our Facebook group. Afterwards, the others try and guess the secret ingredients. Towards the end of the month the recipe is shared on the group. Furthermore, this way members get to know each other and interact with each other.
This Month’s Theme
This Month’s Theme, KABAB TIME, is suggested by Sujata who blogs at Batter Up With Sujata. In short, her suggestion was to make any kebabs Indian or International. I have a long list of vegetarian kebabs I want to try out. Especially would love to try out Sujata’s Green Gram Kabab. For this theme she made soft, melt in the mouth Veg Galouti Kabab. Since they are pan fried, going to try out the recipe soon.
This month, I was teamed up with Swaty. Her blog Food Trails is a treasure trove of both Indian and International Recipes. I’ve tried out her Smashed Potato Chaat and Bajra Methi Poori, and they both turned out so delicious. My family loved both the recipes. I love suran (elephant yam) and can’t wait to try out her Chana Dal and Yam Kebabs.
Relating to the theme, I gave Swaty ginger and pesto. Interestingly, with those ingredients she prepared a fusion kebab recipe using raw papaya. Check out her Air Fried Raw Papaya Kebabs Recipe. Overall, addition of cream cheese and pesto definitely make these kebabs mouthwatering. Similarly, she gave me whole masoor and za’atar. Using those ingredients I decided to make Baked Lentil Kebabs.
Ingredients Required For Baked Lentil Kebabs
- Puy Lentils – known as abut masoor. Here whole lentils and not the split one is used. Best to soak the lentils for at least 3-4 hours for soft kebabs.
- Potato – boiled, peeled and mashed.
- Oats – I used quick oats as I didn’t have a food processor to process it into flour.
- Chickpea Flour – besan, chana no lot. Helps to bind the mixture.
- Semolina – actually helps to soak up excess liquid from cooked lentils and helps to make the outer part a bit crispy.
- Oil – required to brush the tray and the kebabs.
- Garlic – peeled and minced. Add according to your taste.
- Onion – peeled and finely chopped. Use white, red or yellow.
- Ginger – peeled and grated or minced.
- Chillis – finely chopped or minced. Add according to your taste.
- Fresh Dill – finely chopped
- Fresh Coriander – finely chopped
- Za’atar – I added za’atar to give that different taste. If you don’t have any, omit it.
- Sumac – I added sumac to give that different taste. If you don’t have any, replace it with amchur or dried mango powder.
- Pepper Powder
- Lemon Juice
- Salt – add according to your taste.
For The Dip:
- Yogurt – plain thick yogurt
- Fresh Coriander – chopped finely
- Lemon Juice
For Vegans use either vegan yogurt or make Chutneys.
Check Out The Video For The Whole Process:
Baked Lentil Kebabs
- 1 cup puy lentils/ masoor
- 1 cup mashed potato
- ¼ cup quick cooking oats
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp semolina
- ½ cup onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 1-2 green chillis finely chopped
- 1-1½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup fresh dill chopped
- ¼ cup fresh coriander chopped
- 2 tbsp za'atar spice mixture
- 1 tsp sumac
- ½ tsp pepper powder coarse
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- oil for brushing
FOR THE ZA'ATAR YOGURT DIP:
- 1½ cups plain yogurt thick
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup fresh coriander chopped
- ¼ tsp pepper powder
- 1 tsp za'atar spice mixture
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
SOAK AND COOK THE LENTIL
- Soak the lentil in enough water for at least 4- 6 hours.
- Cook the lentils in about 2-3 cups of water till done.
- If any water is left, drain it out into a bowl. Save it to use for soups.
- Allow the lentil to cool down a bit.
PREPARATION OF THE KEBAB MIXTURE
- Add the cooked lentils in a big mixing bowl.
- Add all the other ingredients.
- Mix very well and taste. Add any more spices, salt or lemon juice if you wish.
SHAPING THE KEBABS
- Wet your hands with water, take about a tablespoonful of the mixture and shape it.
- I made them into small oval flattish shapes. You can shape them round discs or even press the mixture around skewers.
- If you are going to use wooden skewers then you nedd to soak them in water for at least 2 hours. If you're using metal ones, then grease them.
- Brush the baking tray with some oil or line it with some parchment paper or foil.
- Arrange the shaped kebabs on the tray.
BAKING THE KEBABS
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Bake the kebabs for 15 minutes.
- Take the tray out of the oven.
- Turn the kebabs over. Brush the tops again.
- Bake for 15 -20 minutes till the kebabs are golden brown on top.
- Serve hot kebabs with your favourite dip or chutney.
PREPARATION OF ZA'ATAR YOGURT DIP:
- Mix all the dip ingredients in a bowl till it is smooth and creamy.
- Don't allow the lentils to become mushy.
- Add less oats if the mixture is dryish.
- Serve kebabs with onion rings, lemon wedges.
- If you don't have chickpea flour, replace it with any millet flour, cornflour or breadcrumbs.
- If any liquid is left after cooking the lentils, save it to use for soups, curries or dals.
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