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The seekh kabab has long been considered a piece de resistance in the Awadhi dastarkhwan . The beautifully executed kabab is what every Lucknawi is proud of. The seekh kabab, introduced in this region by the Mughals, was originally prepared from beef mince on skewers and cooked on charcoal fire. But later influences and innovations led to the use of lamb mince, which was preferred for its soft texture. Besides, serving of it on the dastarkhwan did not offend the sensibilities of the Hindu guests. The immense popularity of this kabab led to further refinements and improvements and one bawarchi from Kakori found much acclaim for his efforts in this direction. Kakori is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Lucknow, in the Lucknow - Malihabad mango - belt. During the freedom struggle, it became well known for the famous 'Kakori Case' when a band of freedom fighters looted the train carrying the British Government Treasury money at this obscure place. In the same period, of British rule, it was also customary in this region for the rich Rajas and Nawabs, to entertain senior British Officers and ply them with the best hospitality they could offer. And if it was the mango season , a 'mango dinner' was very much in order (dinner in a mango orchard, was followed by a variety of chilled mangoes served in great style). At one such parties in Kakori, stung by the remark of a British Officer regarding the coarse texture of Seekh Kabab, the host, Nawab late Syed Mohammad Haider Kazmi summoned his rakabdars, hakims and attars the very next day and asked them to evolve a more refined variety of the Seekh Kabab. Ten days of incessant research and design efforts resulted in the now famous 'Kakori Kababs' which was as far as perfection could go. The mince for the kabab was to be obtained from no other part but the 'Raan ki Machhli' (Tendon of the leg of mutton) and Rawaz or animal fat was replaced by khoya, black pepper replaced by white pepper and a brand new mix of powdered spices which still remains a closely guarded secret added to the perfect blend. And of course, the Nawab invited the same officer again and presented the new version of the Seekh Kabab and needless to say it met with great applause. Since then the Seekh Kababs of Kakori became famous by word of mouth and even today, though cooked elsewhere, are known as 'Kakori Kababs'.


Minced meat (keema) - 1 kg (Without fat)
Raw papaya - 100 gm
Salt to taste

Masala A: -

Yellow chili - 5 no
White pepper - 5 gm
Cloves - 8 nos
Mace - 2 blades
Nutmeg - 1/8 th tsp.

Masala B: -

Black cardamom - 4 nos. 
Green cardamom - 6 nos 
Coriander seeds - 10 gm 

Masala C (paste form): -
Copra - 50 gm
Poppy seed (Khuskhus) - 10 gm
Shahi Jeera - 5 gm
Khoya - 200 gms.
Onion (to be fried brown - 100 gm and crushed)
Grind into fine paste :-
Garlic - 1 pod.
Ginger - 10 gm
Roasted gram flour - 200 gm
Pure Ghee - 100 gm/ml

Mince the meat till very smooth (mince without washing as it helps in binding). Add papaya paste, salt and powdered masalas (A+B). Place the mixture in a deep pan keep a live coal in a katori or cup in the center. Put 2 tablespoons of ghee on coal and cover quickly for 'dhungaar'(smiking). Keep covered for half an hour. Mix crushed onions, paste C and ginger garlic paste. Add to smoked mince. Keep for half an hour. Add roasted gram flour and blend well. Heat skewers slightly and grease. Take a portion of mince mixture and spread on skewers with slightly wet hand into oblong roll around the skewers. Roast on kabab griller on live coal for few minutes till they turn to a golden pink brown. Take out carefully from the rods with the help of cloth. Arrange on serving dish and serve garnished with onion rings, slit green chilies and fresh coriander chutney.

NOTE: Kakori kababs are grilled on a specially designed barbecue, however, can also be done on a standard barbecue but on a slow charcoal fire.