Reshmi is an Indian word that means "silk." This is an apt description for these silky-textured, delicious chicken kababs that are a traditional Mughlai dish prepared in India.
Reshmi kabab gets its name from the juicy succulence of the meat added to the skewers. The meat gets this texture thanks to the marinade in which it is soaked. The recipe is very simple, just be sure to allow a full day for the chicken to marinate properly.
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 cup coriander (fresh)
- 2 large onions (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 dash salt (to taste)
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1/2 cup yogurt (fresh, unsweetened, and should not be sour)
- 2 1/4 pounds/1 kilogram chicken (boneless, cut into 2-inch cubes)
- 1–2 tablespoons butter (or vegetable cooking oil; for grilling kababs)
- Soak the almonds in hot water for 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Press each almond between your thumb and index finger so the skin splits and can be removed.
- In a food processor, mix the almonds, coriander, onion, and ginger and garlic pastes and grind to form a smooth paste. Add salt to taste, then lemon juice and mix well.
- In a large bowl, pour the paste and yogurt over the chicken and mix well to coat all the pieces. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Put the marinated chicken pieces on skewers and grill. Lightly brush with oil to prevent sticking.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove from the skewers and serve with mint-coriander chutney, thinly sliced onions, and hot naans (tandoori-baked Indian flatbread).
Choose Your Meat
Traditionally, chicken, beef, or lamb meat is used for these kababs. Prawns or scallops are good substitutes as well.
Want It Spicier?
The easiest way to boost the heat on the kababs is to add green chilies to the recipe. Another option is to mince a couple of serrano peppers with the seeds and add red pepper flakes. Either should be added to the food processor.
If you're making a curry that involves fresh chilies, you can add a spicier variety of chili to that so you don't affect the overall flavor of the dish. You can also scrape the inside of the chili and add only the seeds for a more subtle spiciness. Otherwise, you can always add chili powder or cayenne pepper. This may be the easiest option as these are more readily available to many home cooks.
Do not add more curry powder, garam masala, or paprika, however. Those add flavors and/or color, not heat. Altering the proportions of these spices can significantly affect the flavor of a dish.