Readers, I am thrilled to announce that I will be the first Cook in Residence at TASTE!
TASTE is a fantastic online food magazine launched by Penguin Random House to highlight America's rapidly evolving food culture. Under their brand new In Residence program, residents will be given the resources, and time to create art in their chosen medium. I am incredibly honored to be standing alongside Maya Erikson, Baker In Residence, pastry chef at Langbaan; and working with TASTE's outstanding editorial staff to produce a series of stories spotlighting Pakistani food and culture.
My first story and recipe is on my favorite variety of kebabs - shami kebabs. While in Pakistan, I would take them for granted, after moving overseas, I realized that no other kebab served at restaurants quite compares. Read the full story about my favorite teatime snack here, and see recipe below.
1 lb boneless beef chuck, trimmed and roughly diced
1/3 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 inch ginger knob, peeled and finely diced
1 red onion, roughly chopped, plus ½ red onion, finely diced
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 black cardamom pods
5 dried round whole red peppers, available at Indian/Pakistani specialty stores
1 tsp kosher salt
1 slice white bread, wet lightly under a splash of water
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cilantro, finely diced
1 Thai green chile, finely diced
In a large stock pot, add all ingredients up until the white bread (with the exception of ½ finely diced red onion) and four cups of water, and bring to a boil. Drop heat to medium-low to a simmer and cook until the water disappears and the lentils are fall-apart soft, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, fold the bread into the beaten egg. Add garam masala, diced cilantro, chile, and red onion. Set aside.
Once the meat and lentils are ready, remove the cardamom and cinnamon with a slotted spoon. Place the mixture in a food processor and mince till the mixture has an even consistency and you cannot tell the lentils and meat apart.
Add minced meat to the bread-egg mixture. Mix well until an even consistency is achieved.
Take small fistfuls of the mixture and flatten them into slim patties.
Heat oil in a shallow nonstick frying pan. Begin to fry patties, about 1½ minutes each side, till they are deep brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
To freeze: Carefully place the raw patties inside Tupperware, and store in the freezer for up to one month. My mother recommends placing them on a tray and freezing them first, and then transferring them to Tupperware or a Ziploc bag.