Bihari Kebabs are the most appetizing dish which make your mouth water even with a thought of it. The dish comes with history along with it. Bihari kebabs found their way into Pakistani cuisine through the migration of Bihari Muslims from the north Indian state of Bihar when Pakistan formed in 1947.
The dish comes with chuck steak and is tenderised using raw papaya, then infused with coal smoke using a method called dhoni. They’re eaten with rice and lentils by Biharis, and with paratha flatbreads by most other Pakistanis. They are amongst the most delicious dishes made in the Bihari cuisine.
Here are the steps of how to make Bihari Kebabs:
Ingredients required to make Bihari Kebabs:
- 2.5 pounds (1 kg) very tender meat (cut into 1″ thick strips
- 2 large onions (sliced)
- 2 tbsps. vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 2 tbsps. garlic paste
- 1 tbsp. ginger paste
- 2 tsp. cumin powder
- 2 tsps. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp. star anise powder
- 1/2 tsp. mace powder
- 2 tbsps. raw papaya paste
Steps to make Bihari Kebabs:
- Fry the onions in the oil until they are soft.
- Drain them on paper towels.
- Use a food processor or mortar and pestle to grind them into a smooth paste.
- Mix the onion paste and all the spices (garlic paste, ginger paste, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground black pepper, red chilli powder, star anise powder, mace powder, but not the papaya paste) with the yoghurt and add the meat strips to this mix.
- Add salt to taste and set aside for 8 to 10 hours in the refrigerator.
- Add the raw papaya paste to the yoghurt and meat mix about 1 hour before you are ready to cook the kabab.
- The papaya paste will tenderize the meat and you do not want it to chilli for more than an hour.
- Thread 8 to 10 meat strips onto each skewer and grill them until they are browned and cooked to your desired level.
- Serve immediately with piping hot naan (tandoor-cooked Indian flatbread).
- You can use raw, grated papaya if you don’t have papaya paste available.
- The papain enzyme in papaya breaks down the meat to tenderize it (note also that mustard oil is a traditional part of this dish).
- You can give the meat skewers a brief sauté in mustard oil before placing them on the grill.