Skewering and grilling food is a tradition cherished for its ability to infuse smoky flavours into small pieces of meat, seafood, poultry, and vegetables. Emphasising the diversity of vegetarian kebabs, let us explore the unique blend of spices, herbs, and seasonings that make them mouthwatering and culturally rich culinary delights.
Kebabs are a culinary delight found in various global cuisines and are renowned for their skewered and grilled preparation. These flavourful dishes typically feature small pieces of meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables, often marinated in a medley of spices, herbs, and seasonings. The skewering process allows for cooking and imparts a delicious smoky flavour.
Kebabs come in diverse forms, from the iconic Middle Eastern shish kebabs with chunks of marinated meat and vegetables to Indian seekh kebabs made from minced meat or vegetables. Whether served on their own, wrapped in flatbreads, or accompanied by sauces and salads, kebabs represent a savoury and culturally rich tradition that celebrates the art of grilling.
Kebabs can be wonderfully vegetarian as well, showcasing the versatility of this culinary tradition. Vegetarian kebabs often feature a delicious blend of plant-based ingredients, such as mushrooms, bell peppers, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), or a mix of vegetables. These ingredients are marinated in aromatic spices, herbs, and sauces, similar to their meat counterparts.
Skewered and grilled to perfection, vegetarian kebabs offer a delightful combination of smokiness and tenderness. Whether served as appetisers, side dishes, or as part of a main course, vegetarian kebabs are a tasty and satisfying option for all to enjoy.
Here are seven vegetarian kebab recipes you can savour:
Dahi Ke Kebab
Dahi ke kebab, a popular North Indian appetiser, transforms yoghurt into a delectable and savoury treat. To prepare these kebabs, thick Greek yoghurt is strained to remove excess moisture, resulting in a dense and creamy base. It is then combined with an array of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala, along with finely chopped vegetables and fresh herbs such as mint and cilantro.
The mixture is then filled inside wet bread, shaped into patties, and shallow-fried until golden brown, creating a crispy exterior that contrasts beautifully with the soft, tangy interior. Dahi ke kebabs burst with flavours, offering a perfect balance of creaminess and spice, making them a delightful addition to any Indian meal.
Hara-bhara kebab is a cherished gem in Indian cuisine. This vegetarian delight combines the vibrant green goodness of spinach, peas, and potatoes, meticulously blended with an exquisite array of aromatic spices and herbs. The resulting mixture is shaped into patties, which are carefully shallow-fried or baked to perfection, achieving a tempting golden crispness on the outside while preserving the tender core within.
Each bite of these kebabs is a symphony of earthy, spicy, and zesty notes, promising a palate-pleasing experience like no other. Hara-bhara kebabs exemplify the art of vegetarian gastronomy, catering to the discerning tastes of both herbivores and vegans alike, and are often served with chutneys or yoghurt-based dips to elevate their already exquisite taste profile.
Corn Methi Kebab
Corn Methi Kebab is a mouthwatering vegetarian recipe that combines the sweetness of corn kernels with the earthy bitterness of fenugreek leaves (methi) to create healthy and aromatic patties. To prepare these kebabs, fresh or frozen corn kernels and finely chopped methi leaves are mixed with a blend of spices, including cumin, coriander, and red chilli powder, along with besan (gram flour) to bind the mixture.
This fragrant mixture is then shaped into patties and shallow-fried to perfection, resulting in crispy, golden kebabs with a burst of flavours and contrasting textures. The combination of the slightly sweet corn and the slightly bitter methi leaves, along with the spices, makes these kebabs a popular choice for appetisers or snacks in Indian cuisine, offering a unique and delicious culinary experience.
Chana Dal Seekh Kebab
Chana dal seekh Kebab showcases the versatility of chana dal, or split chickpeas. To prepare these kebabs, chana dal is soaked, boiled until tender, and then coarsely ground to form a textured base. This ground dal is mixed with a medley of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, and green chilies, as well as finely chopped vegetables and fresh herbs for texture and moisture.
The mixture is then moulded onto skewers in cylindrical shapes and grilled or roasted to achieve a smoky, charred exterior while remaining moist and flavourful on the inside. Chana dal seekh Kebabs are not only a vegetarian delight but also a protein-packed and nutritious option, making them a favourite at Indian gatherings and a delightful addition to any meal or snack. They are often served with chutneys or as a part of kebab platters.
Shaam Savera Kebabs
Shaam savera kebab is truly special in its exquisite presentation and the harmonious interplay of flavours and textures. This dish not only delights the palate but also captivates the eyes with its vibrant green spinach dumplings encapsulating a rich and creamy paneer filling. To prepare it, finely pureed spinach is mixed with spices, besan, and a touch of cream to form green dumpling dough.
Meanwhile, a luscious mixture of crumbled paneer, cashews, raisins, and aromatic spices is prepared as the filling. Small balls of the paneer mixture are encased in the spinach dough, creating vibrant green dumplings that are then either steamed or shallow-fried. Offering a delightful play on colours and flavours. Shaam Savera Kebab is a celebration of Indian culinary creativity, blending freshness and richness into an appetiser or main course option.
Kathal Ke Kebab
Kathal ke kebab, also known as jackfruit kebabs, showcases the versatility of jackfruit in Indian cuisine. Tender jackfruit pieces are meticulously cooked and blended with a fusion of spices, herbs, and aromatic seasonings. This mixture is then shaped into kebabs and either shallow-fried or grilled to perfection. The result is a masterpiece with an extremely crispy exterior that gives way to a melt-in-your-mouth, flavourful interior.
Kathal ke kebabs offer a unique combination of smoky and mildly sweet notes, making them a beloved choice among vegetarians and vegans. They are often served with an assortment of chutneys and accompaniments, adding an extra layer of complexity to this culinary marvel and making it a must-try for anyone seeking the richness and diversity of Indian cuisine.
Veg Galouti Kebab
Veg galouti kebab is a vegetarian rendition of the iconic galouti kebab, which originates from the royal kitchens of Lucknow, India. These kebabs are renowned for their melt-in-the-mouth tenderness and exquisite flavours. Instead of the traditional minced meat, veg galouti kebabs use a blend of finely ground or minced vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, peas, and beans, mixed with aromatic spices like cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.
This mixture is delicately flavoured with saffron, rose water, and kewra essence, which imparts a regal aroma and taste. To achieve the signature softness, the kebabs are often marinated in yoghurt and raw papaya paste to tenderise the vegetables further. Afterward, they are shaped into small patties and shallow-fried to golden perfection. Veg galouti kebabs stand as a testament to the culinary creativity of Indian cuisine, offering a vegetarian alternative that rivals the richness and flavour complexity of the original galouti kebab, making them a cherished delicacy for vegetarians and vegans.