World Kebab Day 2023: 8 Kitchen Tips For Vegan Kebabs At Home
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Born in the Middle East, popular the world over today, Kebabs form an integral part of our culinary lives in India. From round Galouti Kebabs to Seekh Kebabs and so much more, Indians have adapted to the art of making Kebabs and eating them the right way too. This truly makes days like World Kebab Day 2023 extra special, right? So, this might just be the right time to take a closer look at one of the most popular Kebab trends right now: Vegan Kebabs

The trend of making Vegan Kebabs is a relatively recent development, as veganism and plant-based diets have gained popularity in recent years. While traditional Kebabs have a long history, the specific trend of Vegan Kebabs emerged as a response to the growing demand for plant-based alternatives to meat-based dishes. The exact starting point of the trend may vary, but it can be traced back to the increasing awareness and adoption of vegan and vegetarian lifestyles worldwide post 2010s.  

As people sought plant-based alternatives to classic dishes, chefs and home cooks began experimenting with creating Kebabs using vegan ingredients. With the rise of plant-based meat substitutes and the creative use of vegetables, legumes, and grains, vegan kebabs became a popular choice for individuals looking for flavorful, cruelty-free options. The trend has since gained momentum, with numerous restaurants, food blogs, and cookbooks offering their own versions of Vegan Kebabs. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Hebbar's Kitchen

Starting Out With Vegan Kebabs: Basic Ingredients

It's important to note that cultural and regional variations have always existed when it comes to Kebabs, and the Vegan Kebab trend has adapted to incorporate local flavors and ingredients from different cuisines around the world. Knowing which ingredients and flavours to add to Vegan Kebabs is critical because unlike meat, vegan ingredients don’t have naturally high fat levels needed to make scrumptious Kebabs. Here are some common flavourful ingredients you can use to make Vegan Kebabs. 

Vegetables: Use a mix of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, or eggplant. Cut them into similar-sized pieces for even cooking. 

Legumes and Pulses: Incorporate protein-rich ingredients such as cooked chickpeas, lentils, or black beans. These provide a meaty texture and help hold the kebabs together. 

Grains: Include cooked grains like quinoa, bulgur wheat, or brown rice. They add texture and help bind the ingredients together. 

Tofu or Tempeh: These soy-based products are great alternatives for a meaty texture. Marinate them before grilling for extra flavor. 

Binders: Use ingredients that act as binders to hold the kebab mixture together. Options include breadcrumbs, ground flaxseeds mixed with water (flax eggs), or chickpea flour. 

Tips To Nail Vegan Kebabs At Home 

Here are some important tips you need to keep in mind while making Vegan Kebabs at home. 

1. Choose the right vegetables: Opt for a mix of vegetables that have complementary flavors and textures. Consider using a combination of firm and soft vegetables for variety. 

2. Cut ingredients uniformly: Cut the vegetables and other ingredients into similar-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. This helps prevent some pieces from being undercooked or overcooked. 

3. Precook or marinate ingredients: If you're using harder vegetables or legumes, pre-cook or marinate them before assembling the kebabs. This will ensure that they are tender and flavorful when cooked. 

4. Use binders: To help the kebab mixture hold together, use binders such as breadcrumbs, ground flaxseeds mixed with water (flax eggs), or chickpea flour. These ingredients provide structure and prevent the kebabs from falling apart. 

5. Don't overmix: When combining the ingredients, avoid overmixing, as it can result in a dense texture. Gently mix until everything is well incorporated. 

6. Season generously: Don't be shy with the herbs, spices, and marinades. Season the kebab mixture generously to enhance the flavors. Taste the mixture before cooking and adjust the seasoning as needed. 

7. Allow flavors to meld: If time allows, let the kebab mixture rest in the refrigerator for some time before cooking. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop a richer taste. 

8. Cook with care: Choose the appropriate cooking method for your kebabs, such as grilling, baking, or pan-frying. Pay attention to the cooking time and temperature to ensure that the kebabs are cooked through without becoming overly dry or burnt.