Cooking for Royal families could indeed be interesting. I have served The Gulf Royalties myself and interesting experiments seriously do take place while fulfilling requests which could come flying from no where. One such delicacy which was created to impress an ageing Nawab of Lucknow, resulted in a kebab which today is world famous, literally so. The history of Galouti kebab also known as Gilawat is quite interesting. It was  created keeping the special needs and desires of an ageing Nawab  called Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow. The Nawab had lost all his teeth. But his passion for meat remained intact. So, this melt in the mouth kebab was prepared in his royal kitchens to satisfy the Nawab’s love for meat. The original recipe is supposed to be a top kept secret with the use of some 160 spices and flavorings.

Legend has it that Nawab Wajid Ali Shah,  apparently organised a ‘Kebab making contest’ and announced that the creator of the softest and most succulent kababs would enjoy royal patronage on winning.

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The secret recipe was created by Haji Murad Ali, who apparently had only one hand. ‘Tunde’ is a colloquial slang used to refer to a person with a hand disability. Amongst all who took part, ‘Tunde ke kebab’ turned to be an undisputed winner. The secret recipe apparently has 160 spices. The recipe is a family secret and is passed down to the generations by the ladies of the house.

Well, only fictitious movie stories are made of A toothless Nawab, A One Armed Cook, and a Legendary Kebab! Well, truth is stranger than fiction.

I was recently opportune to visit the now famous Grandsons in Lucknow city in Uttar Pradesh, North India. A quaint little place in the dark dingy lanes of Chowk area may keep you wishing you never visited it. But on a serious note, I personally thought its taste was extremely over rated. And 100 spices? Seriously? I personally believe in minimalist use of ingredients and here is my take on the legendary Galouti kebabs that I created for my show – The Bombay Chef. Follow the recipe and if you are stuck anywhere, follow my video recipe!

Ingredients ( 15 kebabs )
½ kg Mutton Kheema
2 tbsp raw papaya (Extremely important ingredient; The texture would dramatically differ if you avoid. Skip the recipe for now, if unavailable. )
Salt to taste
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp garlic
2 black cardamom
8 cloves
1 tbsp poppy seeds
6 pepper corns
½ tsp cinnamon
½ blade mace
6-8 cardamom seeds
1 tsp chilly powder
Grated nutmeg
1 onion (browned)
½ cup coriander leaves
4-5 dried green chilly
3 tbsp roasted gram flour
1 egg
Onion rings, Mint & Lemon ( garnish)

– Grind together – bay leaf, black cardamom, cinnamon, dried green chilly, grated nutmeg,mace, pepper corns, poppy seeds, cloves, cardamom seeds, garlic, ginger, chilly powder, raw payaya with the skin, run it into a smooth and fine paste.
– Add coriander leaves & egg into the paste and run it till it turn into a smooth paste
– Take the meat and add it into the grinder and grind it to run it into a smooth paste
– Add some salt and mix it properly
– Add the masala paste and evenly mix it with the meat.
– Add a spoonful of roasted gram flour and mix it evenly and properly
– Take a scoop of mixture and form a patty shape and place it on a plate
– Refrigerate the patties for 10 minutes
– In a pan heat some oil on medium flame, and place the kebabs and fry them
– Garnish it with lemon juice onion rings and bunch of fresh mint.
– The Galouti Kebabs are ready to be served!

Watch this video recipe of mine, if you wish to!

Video Courtesy: The Bombay Chef | Get Curried | Chef Varun Inamdar | Rajshri Food