Incredible India… Kebabs

1 Dec

To my former knowledge, kebabs were some sort of brochette or food skewered by either a metal or wooden stick.  You see them in Middle Eastern restaurants… shish kebabs being the most popular.  I always order a kebab in my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant which is a brochette of vegetables. But in India… kebabs are something different.  Particularly vegetarian kebabs…

Kebabs are patties of mixed vegetables and grains served with a variety of sauces or chutneys.  You could see our first kebab experience in ZEST, a fine dining restaurant at the DLF Emporio Mall in Delhi.

We celebrated Annie Mariel’s birthday in the nicest restaurant we could find in Varanasi, The Great Kebab Factory.  They offered us a vegetarian prix fixe dinner that included a series of kebabs for appetizer, main course and dessert accompanied by a selection of breads.

Here’s what we had for dinner…

The meal started with a salad… which was kind of nice, because we didn’t see a lot of salads in any of our menus… this one had, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon with a pineapple dressing.  The Latin in me did not taste the pineapple a lot… but it was somewhat there.

Subz Galouti Kebab – their signature kebab, made with yam and green vegetables

Paneer Tikka – a piece of the traditional paneer cheese seasoned with Indian spices…

Makai Matar ki Seehk – A mixture of corn, green peas, lentils and Indian spices… this was my favorite one by far.

Kale Chane ki Tikki – this was another kebab supposedly stuffed with cheese.  I never saw or tasted the cheese…

Subz ke Tinke – this was a skewer of fresh vegetables…  and we thought we would never see a skewer here.  How wrong we were.

The food was accompanied by various choices of naan, our favorite one the garlic one.  It tasted just like Italian garlic bread, which was a nice break from the Indian spices taste. 

Also, a selection of sauces and chutneys were provided for us to mix with our kebabs – tomato, cilantro, peanut and my favorite, tamarind.  The sweetness and tanginess of the tamarind helped me offset the spiciness of most of the kebabs. 

We did not get to choose our desserts; they just bring you a frozen dessert which tasted a lot like corn with cinnamon ice cream and 3 other choices of typical Indian desserts.  One was a sweetened rice dish with cinnamon, cardamom and raisins, which tasted very similar to an Arroz con Dulce.  The other two I was not able to decipher much… and the tastes were not that thrilling either.


Because we are so friendly, we received a cake from the hotel management and we decided to share it with our table neighbors…  

I hope Annie Mariel had a great time at her birthday dinner and I also hope you get to try out the wonderful kebabs so typical in Indian cuisine…

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