Welcome to the first installment of “Dr. B’s Blog.” I hope you will enjoy the explanations, history and my own thoughts regarding the many dishes we serve at Calcutta Wrap and Roll.
I will start by talking about the “Chicken Sheekh Kebab.” Kebabs are pieces of meat cooked either in a special clay oven called the Tandoor, on a flat steel plate called a Tawa, or fried in a skillet. Kebabs are usually named after the process by which they are cooked / the section of the country they were developed in / the shape of the kebab / the portion of the meat / the texture of the meat / or the marination used in the preparation of the kebab.
The Sheekh Kebab is so named because it is cooked on Sheekhs (rods or skewers). Minced meat is wrapped around the iron skewer and cooked over an open fire at high heat, in the Tandoor.
The beauty of the Sheekh Kebab lies not only in that it cooks very fast (because of the extreme high temperatures in the Tandoor) but also in the evenness of the cooking. The skewers absorb the heat of the oven and cook the kebabs from the inside while the outside is seared by the flame.
Every Indian restaurant that has a Tandoor makes Sheekh Kebabs. Look for the subtle tastes of the different spices used (each establishment has its own special blend!), the soft texture and the moistness of the meat.
Sheekh Kebabs are cooked without added oil because the meat releases its own fat which drips off during the cooking process.
Sheekh Kebabs are generally served as appetizers. You may dip a Sheekh Kebab in a Mint-Cilantro or Date-Tamarind Chutney or enjoy it with your favorite beverage. Traditionally the Sheekh Kebab is served on a bed of sliced onions and with a refreshing squeeze of lime.