Dahi Kebab Recipe: How to Make Creamy & Crispy Indian Vegetarian Kebabs

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a kebab that melts in your mouth with a burst of tangy, creamy flavors—that’s the magic of Dahi Kebab. Originating from the rich culinary landscapes of North India, these kebabs are a delightful twist on the traditional meat-heavy staples. Unlike their meaty counterparts, Dahi Kebabs are crafted from hung curd, making them a favorite among vegetarians and health enthusiasts alike.

The beauty of Dahi Kebab lies in its simplicity and the subtle play of spices that complement the coolness of the yogurt. It’s perfect for those days when you crave something exotic yet comforting. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just looking to spice up your meal routine, Dahi Kebab offers a unique flavor that’s bound to impress. Ready to give it a try? Let’s dive into making this exquisite dish that’s as pleasing to the palate as it is to the eye.

Ingredients

Ready to transform simple ingredients into the exquisite Dahi Kebab? Below are the detailed ingredients you’ll need, divided into two main components: the kebab base and the coating for frying.

Dahi Kebab Base

  • 2 cups hung curd (thick yogurt, drained overnight to remove excess water)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 finely chopped green chilies (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour (besan), roasted

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gram flour (besan) for outer coating
  • Oil, for deep frying
  • Extra gram flour or breadcrumbs, as needed for thicker consistency of kebabs

Gather these ingredients and you’re ready to move on to mixing and shaping your Dahi Kebabs before frying them to golden perfection.

Necessary Equipment

Before you begin crafting your delightful Dahi Kebabs, ensure you have the right equipment handy. The proper tools will make the process smoother and enhance your cooking experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mixing Bowls: You’ll need large bowls to mix the hung curd, spices, and other ingredients thoroughly.
  • Cheesecloth or a Fine Mesh Strainer: Essential for draining the curd to achieve the perfect consistency required for the kebabs.
  • Grater: A grater is necessary for finely shredding the paneed.
  • Frying Pan or Skillet: A non-stick pan or a well-seasoned skillet will be ideal for frying the kebabs, ensuring they are evenly cooked without sticking.
  • Spatula: To flip the kebabs safely and effectively.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: Precision is key, so make sure to measure your ingredients accurately to preserve the flavors of the dish.
  • Mixing Spoon or Spatula: This will help you combine the ingredients evenly without overworking the mixture.

Once you have your equipment ready, you are all set to proceed to the next steps of preparing your Daha Kebabs. Each item listed above contributes to the ease of preparation and success of your cooking, leading to perfectly crisp and flavorful kebabs.

Prep Work

Before you start cooking, there are a few preparation steps that will ensure your Dahi Kebabs turn out deliciously perfect.

Straining the Yogurt

First, take the hung curd, which is the base for your kebabs, and ensure it’s adequately strained to remove any excess moisture. For this, you need a cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Place about 2 cups of yogurt into the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out the water without pressing too hard—you want the curd to remain creamy and thick. Let it sit over a bowl for about an hour to drain naturally. This process is crucial as it prevents your kebabs from becoming soggy when cooked.

Chopping Herbs and Spices

While the yogurt is straining, proceed to chop the herbs and prepare the spices. You will need a handful of fresh cilantro and mint—finely chop these herbs to release their fragrant oils, which will enhance the flavor of your kebabs. Next, finely mince two cloves of garlic and grate a one-inch piece of ginger. For the dry spices, you will require 1 teaspoon of cumin powder and 1 teaspoon of garam masala. Keep all these ingredients ready on your countertop, ensuring they’re measured correctly to achieve the perfect balance of flavors in your Dahi Kebabs.

Instructions

Now that your ingredients are prepared and your equipment is set, let’s start cooking these delicious Dahi Kebabs. Follow these steps carefully to ensure your kebabs are flavorful and have the perfect texture.

Mixing Ingredients

  1. Begin by placing the strained hung curd in a large mixing bowl. Ensure the curd is devoid of any excess liquid to maintain the kebabs’ integrity during cooking.
  2. Grate the paneer finely and add it to the bowl with the hung curd. Paneer should be at room temperature to mix well with the curd.
  3. Add finely chopped cilantro, mint, green chilies, ginger, and garlic to the mixture. These ingredients should be chopped as finely as possible to distribute their flavors evenly.
  4. Sprinkle in the dry spices — cumin powder, garam masala, salt, and a pinch of chili powder. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. It’s important that the mixture is homogeneous to ensure each kebab cooks evenly.
  5. Drizzle in a small amount of melted butter or ghee, which helps in binding the mixture together besides adding a rich flavor.

Shaping the Kebabs

  1. Once your mixture is ready, dampen your hands with a little water. This prevents the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  2. Take a small portion of the mixture and roll it between your palms to form a ball, then gently flatten it to form a patty. The kebabs should be about the size of a small burger.
  3. Make sure all the kebabs are uniform in size and thickness to ensure they cook evenly.
  4. Place the shaped kebabs on a plate and chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. This step is crucial as it helps the kebabs firm up and hold their shape during cooking.

Coating and Frying the Kebabs

  1. Lightly beat an egg in a shallow dish. If you prefer a vegetarian version, you can use a slurry made from cornstarch and water.
  2. Spread out bread crumbs on a separate plate. You can use panko for a crispier texture or regular breadcrumbs.
  3. Take each chilled kebab and first dip it into the egg wash or cornstarch slurry, ensuring it is evenly coated.
  4. Next, roll the kebab in the breadcrumbs until it is thoroughly coated on all sides.
  5. Set the coated kebabs aside on a clean plate.
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, fry the kebabs until golden brown and crispy on all sides.

Following these steps, you’ll create delicious, crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside Dahi Kebabs that are perfect for any gathering or a cozy meal.

Cooking

Now that your kebabs are prepped and ready, it’s time to cook them to perfection. Follow these steps to ensure they’re golden and delicious.

  1. Heat the Pan:
    Start by heating a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour in enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, typically about two tablespoons. Allow the oil to heat up for a couple of minutes—it’s ready when it looks shimmery and moves easily across the pan.
  2. Place the Kebabs:
    Carefully lay the prepared kebabs in the pan. Space them out to ensure they are not overcrowded, which helps in frying them evenly. You may need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your pan.
  3. Fry Until Golden Brown:
    Let the kebabs cook undisturbed for about 4-5 minutes on one side. When they turn a deep golden brown, gently flip them over using a spatula. Fry the other side for another 4-5 minutes until it also achieves a nice golden color. The exterior should be crispy while preserving the creamy interior.
  4. Check for Doneness:
    To ensure your kebabs are cooked through, check the internal temperature with a cooking thermometer. The kebabs should reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, make sure the center is hot and the texture is consistent through to the middle.
  5. Remove and Drain:
    Once cooked, remove the kebabs from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels. This will help drain any excess oil, keeping your kebabs crisp and not oily.
  6. Serve Hot:
    Serve your dahi kebabs hot, garnished with mint or cilantro and a side of tangy mint chutney or sweet tamarind sauce. They make a great appetizer or a side dish in a larger meal.

Follow these steps, and you’ll have perfectly cooked dahi kebabs that are sure to impress at your next gathering or family dinner. Enjoy the blend of crispy exterior and creamy interior that makes these kebabs a delightful treat.

Serving Suggestions

After you have masterfully fried your Dahi Kebabs to that perfect golden brown, the next step is to think about how to serve them. Presenting and pairing Dahi Kebabs correctly can elevate this dish from simply delicious to truly unforgettable.

Plating Your Dahi Kebabs

Start by choosing the right plate. A clean, white plate works best as it makes the colors of the kebab pop. Arrange the kebabs neatly on the plate, allowing space between each for garnishes. Sprinkle finely chopped fresh cilantro over the kebabs to add a touch of freshness and color.

Pairings

Refreshing Dips

Offer a variety of dips to complement the creamy texture of the Dahi Kebabs. A mint yogurt dip or a tangy tamarind chutney are excellent choices. Both provide a nice contrast with their fresh and sharp flavors, enhancing the overall taste of the kebabs.

Side Dishes

Serve the Dahi Kebabs with a side of crisp, refreshing salad or steamed basmati rice. The lightness of the salad or the mild flavor of the rice makes a great balance to the rich and creamy kebabs.

Drinks

For drinks, a glass of chilled mango lassi or a mint mojito can be a wonderful accompaniment. These beverages are not only refreshing but also help cleanse the palate between bites.

Conclusion

Diving into the world of Dahi Kebab opens up a delightful culinary adventure that’s both indulgent and unique. By mastering the techniques you’ve learned you’re not just cooking—you’re creating moments. Whether it’s a casual dinner or a special occasion your Dahi Kebabs are sure to impress. So why not invite some friends over and share the joy of cooking something new? After all every meal is a chance to make memories. Happy cooking!

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