A dish from the princely state of Lucknow, Boti Kebab is a crowning jewel of the region that is known to be the birthplace of Mughlai culinary wonders. The dish consists of meat (generally lamb or goat meat) chunks that are marinated in a blend of garam masala, garlic and ginger paste, yoghurt, papaya, chilli powder, cumin powder and turmeric. The pieces are then set aside for at least twenty-four hours (generally covered and in a cool place). The next day they are thinly laced with butter or ghee (clarified butter) and grilled over desi skewers [seekh].
The term ‘boti’ stands for small chunks, hence the particular way of butchering the meat. This dish is especially enjoyed as a snack item and is often paired with saalan (a liquid gravy that accompanies the meats) or a chutney (generally a mix of mint, coriander, chopped green chillies and lemon juice).
The tradition of consuming meat this way was introduced by the Arabs when they travelled to the South East Asian countries. The long wars or tedious spice routes (for both coming as invaders or merchants), required that meat be preserved for longer, and prepared in a way that it softened once placed on the grill.
KEBABS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
In China's northern provinces, kebab-style meat preparations are known as "chuan" while the Uyghur region terms the dish "kawap". Lamb, mutton, chicken, beef, pork and even seafood is cut into bite-sized pieces, skewered, and roasted or fried. Ziran (a type of cumin), sesame and pepper are considered adequate seasonings.
In Greece, gyros, kalamaki (skewered meat) and souvlaki are all types of kebabs that are served wrapped in pita bread with accompaniments like sauces and fries.
Lamb, chicken, beef, pork, fish or veal are marinated and grilled in the Armenian variant of the kebab, known as khorovats. This can be taken to mean barbecued meat, and is a staple at festive get-togethers.
Sosatie in South Africa, and Kyinkyinga and Suya from West Africa are the among the kebab variants of the local cuisines.
South East Asian countries have a selection of satay, or skewered meat marinated in spicy sauces (frequently, peanut and soy) and roasted over a wood or charcoal fire.
Iran, Iraq and Turkey have a rich pantheon of kebab dishes, as do South Asian countries, that would be too numerous to list here.
In Indian towns and cities, Boti Kebab Rolls are a popular snack. In this dish, the meat chunks are placed in between a fried paratha, with sliced onions, chopped green chillies and a dash of lime juice on top and rolled into a wrap. Boti Kebabs are generally eaten as starters.