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Yoghurt Kebabs with Basil Chutney

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These yoghurt kebabs are absolutely delicious and are easy to make with simple everyday ingredients (gram flour is a must in all vegetarian households!). They are soft and creamy on the inside but have a lovely crisp exterior. They are generally made with yoghurt that has been drained overnight so that it becomes thick and almost cheesy and is then bound with a little paneer (Indian white cheese). I use a good quality, thick Greek yoghurt (that is not too old as yoghurt gets more sour as it ages) and cheddar cheese instead which works really well and adds a lovely savoury element to these kebabs. They are really versatile and can be eaten as they are, dipped in a little green chutney, served with a lightly dressed salad or topped with some of my basil chutney and some finely chopped tomato as I do here.

Makes 12 small kebabs

  • 250g Greek yoghurt, thick bit (see above)
  • 35g mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 2 medium slices white bread, crumbed
  • 35g gram flour
  • ½ medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10g ginger, peeled weight, finely chopped ⅓ red pepper, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala or to taste
  • ¾ tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 3 tbs. vegetable oil plus

Basil “chutney”

  • 1 (70g) bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and washed
  • 2 large handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
  • 20 pistachios
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. water or as necessary
  • 1-1¼ tsp. lemon juice or to taste

Add the gram flour to a non-stick frying pan and dry roast over a gentle heat, stirring often until the gram flour has a lovely toasted smell and turns a golden colour, around 4-5 minutes. Pour and scrape into a large bowl.

Clean the pan and add and heat 1½ tbs. of the oil in it. Add the onion; cook gently until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and salt and cook until it no longer smells of raw garlic, around 40-50 seconds. Stir in the garam masala and roasted cumin powder; take off the heat and add to the gram flour along with the yoghurt, cheese, ¾ of the bread crumbs, red pepper and black pepper. Stir well to combine and season to taste. It should be creamy but firm enough to roll into little balls. If not you will need to add some more crumbs. Give the pan a wipe.

Heat half the remaining oil in the saucepan. Make little balls of the mixture, flatten and add to the pan, the oil should be hot. Then turn down and cook over a medium-low flame until the bottom is golden brown and crisp.. Flip over and cook until this side is deep golden too. Place on absorbent kitchen roll. Serve immediately as they are, with basil chutney and some finely chopped tomatoes.

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