|Barbeque Nation presents ‘Africa Magica’ – The African Food Festival
K is for Kebabs! Did I hear some slurping sound at the name of Kebabs? Well yes that is the magic of Kebab – everyone starts drooling over it be vegetarians or non-vegetarians. We all love eating kebabs, some of us make it at home as well (I remember during the Army parties at home mom used to make shammi or shaami kebabs along with mint chutney). The aroma of shaami kebab being made at home is still fresh in my mind.
Then I also remember relishing the spicy seekh kebabs with mint chutney, slices of lemons and onions cut in ring shape in Gopinath Bazaar. It is near Delhi Cantonment. Those were the days when we used to relish the delicious kebabs at one of the best selling kebabs outlet in Delhi Cantt. I am talking about the time when there were limited choices for eating good kebabs in Delhi. I am talking about 80s.
Anyway, now there are so many places to go if you want to relish a delicious mouth melting and lip smacking kebabs. Ok so we all love kebabs, we all relish them but do we know what exactly is kebab? A mince meat deep fried like a tikki – is somewhat close to the real dish but here is what exactly kebab is.
According to Wikipedia Kebab, also known as kebap, kabob, or kabab is a Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean, and South Asian dish of pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables roasted or grilled on a skewer or spit originating in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Middle East and later adopted in Central Asia and by the regions of the former Mongol Empire and later Ottoman Empire, before spreading worldwide. In American English, kebab with no qualification refers to shish kebab (Turkish: şiş kebap) cooked on a skewer, whereas in Europe it refers to doner kebab, sliced meat served in a pita. In the Middle East, however, kebab refers to meat that is cooked over or next to flames; large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat; it may be served on plates, in sandwiches, or in bowls.
Apparently the traditional meat for kebab is lamb, however depending upon the local tastes, preferences and religious prohibitions, other meats may also be used. For instance in Western countries beef is the other meat used for kebabs along with other including the meat of goat, chicken, pork or fish. Like other ethnic foods brought by travellers, the kebab has remained a part of everyday cuisine in most of the Eastern Mediterranean and South Asia. It is also popular among Western youth as a snack after a night out.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s satiate our palates with some delicious kebabs.
J is for Josper! Yes Josper – one of the revolutionary imports in the culinary world from Spain – is an elegant combination of a grill and an oven in a single machine. I am sure seasoned foodies, food writers, and critics have heard about this super amazing machine that makes your grilling and barbecuing all the more easy. For novices like me, I heard the term first time when I had gone to review one of the restaurants at Asiad Village.
Anyway coming back to the J post of Josper – Josper according to Nick Lander is a hybrid. According to Mr Lander Josper is first and foremost a grill but more often than not, a Josper is described as an oven. Lander says that a Josper’s main role is of grilling and if put in a layman’s language a Josper is the ‘hottest indoor barbecue available. In his article Lander mentions that the secret of a Josper is that whatever is cooked on it – whether steaks, chicken, fish, vegetables or anything enterprising chefs can turn their hands to – is that it has a front door which, when closed, ensures that none of the natural moisture or flavour escapes. Thus ensuring that the all the natural juices of fish, meat and chicken stays within and the ready meat that comes out is melting in the mouth kind of soft.
Interestingly Lander in his article The thrill of the Grill also talks about the history of Josper, when was it invented and how Josper got its name. Josper has made barbecuing and grilling much more easy without burning the meat or fish and also helps in retaining natural juices and flavour of the meat. So the steaks cooked in Josper would be the steaks you might not have had anywhere before.
In Delhi the Restaurant Sevilla at The Claridges where you can find authentic Josper grills. So enjoy your grills and happy wolfing!