These kebabs come from Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh, a state in north east India. As it’s a very multicultural city the cuisine varies a lot, but these kebabs are famous and I can see why. Galawati or galouti translates to “melt in your mouth,” which thanks to the addition of green papapya and butter/ghee, they do!
While I’m happy to eat veg for days on end, some will start complaining, so kebabs are a good way to stretch a little meat through days of lentils and rice, and in this case to accompany a big pot of channa masala. Leftovers are a nice little treat with breakfast as well.
On green papaya: I’ve gotten in the habit of getting one once in awhile, peeling and seeding it, then blitzing it in the food processor and saving 2 tbsp portions frozen from an ice tray. Then you can pop them out of the freezer whenever you want – as it’s a fantastic meat tenderizer, I’ve made gola kebabs (smokey meatballs) with it, and it’s also a great addition to smoothies and face masks!
Adapted from food.com
- 2 pounds ground beef or mutton
- 2 inches ginger (plus sneak a little more if you’re like me), peeled and grated
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
- 3 tablespoons green papaya, ground to a paste or chopped small in a food processor
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 4 tablespoons besan (gram flour)
- salt to taste, approximately 2 teaspoons
- ghee for frying
In a large bowl, combine well beef/mutton with ginger, garlic, papaya, butter, red chili, garam masala, besan and salt. Cover and allow to sit in fridge for 30 minutes (but not a lot more, you want the papaya to tenderize the meat, not completely obliterate it).
Heat a pan or tawa on medium with a little ghee. You can fry a tablespoon size minikebab to test for salt, or just throw caution to the wind and go for it. Shape palmful size balls of meat into flattened discs and fry in batches for several minutes each side, until browned on both sides and cooked through.
Serve hot! Makes great leftovers too.