Hara bhara kabab – this name is actually very ironic. When one thinks of a kabab recipe, what usually comes to mind is luscious, juicy, meaty kababs from the old mohallas of Lucknow. So, the prefix “hara bhara” added to kabab could well be a turn off for most kabab connoisseurs. But not for us vegetarians!
You can watch the detailed video recipe in hindi here –
How to make bright green Hara Bhara Kabab
This vegetarian hara bhara kabab ( which I’m sure was invented by a harried chef, trying to meet the demands of vegetarian customers) is one of the most popular starters on any Indian restaurant’s menu. Shadi se leke kitty party tak, hara bhara kabab is ubiquitous.
While the fried version is more popular, I prefer to grill them on a pan for two reasons. Firstly, bulk frying is easier for restaurants or caterers. But to make the kababs suitable for frying, lots of bread crumbs are added for binding. Only the potato – spinach mixture will disintegrate in the oil. This I feel dulls the taste of the kabab. And secondly, by lightly shallow frying them on both sides you can retain the bright green colour. I feel that the green hara bhara kababs look so much more attractive than the deep-fried brownish kababs.
Most recipes for hara bhara kabab call for blanching the spinach in boiling water to retain its colour. But in my recipe Ill show you how you can achieve that same bright green colour without doing this additional step.
If you are a spinach loving Popeye, you can also try my cheesy spinach samosa recipe.
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Melt in the mouth, enticing and vegetarian kababs !!
Spinach – 110 gm after cleaning, one small bunch
Boiled peas – 100 gms or ½ cup
Mint leaves – ½ cup
Coriander leaves – ¼ cup
Ghee – 1 Tbsp
Onion – 1 small or 50 gm
Ginger – 2 tsp
Garlic – 2.5 tsp
Green chilly paste – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Chat masala – 1 tsp
Mint powder (optional)– 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Boiled potato – 8-10 small or 500 gm
Sattu – 2.5 tsp
Grated Nutmeg – ¼
- To make the sattu, roast the gram flour/ besan on low heat. Keep stirring continuously. Roast till raw smell goes off and it becomes slightly reddish in colour. Cool before using.
- Heat some oil in a pan and add the spinach to it. Let the spinach sweat. Keep stirring till most of the water released by the spinach is cooked off. Don’t cover the pan during this time. By cooking the spinach like this in an open pan it retains it green colour. If the pan is covered then the spinach darkens in colour, which we don’t want.
- Once the spinach is cooked, crush it in a mixer with boiled green peas, fresh coriander and fresh mint. Do not use water to make this puree.
- Now in a pan roast some onions in ghee till they become soft and translucent. Then add ginger and garlic to this and cook till raw smell goes off.
- Now add the green puree and cook till it becomes dry.
- Add the sattu and boiled potato depending on the consistency of the green puree. If it is too runny, then add more. If it is fairly dry you can add very little or even omit them.
- Now add all the powdered spices, nutmeg and salt.
- Once again cook till it becomes fairly dry and you can make tikkis without it sticking to your hands.
- Let this mix cool completely. Now apply some oil to your hands and shape tikkis from this mixture. Place them on an oiled dish.
- Press one half of a cashewnut on top. Press it deeply so that the side can be grilled properly on the pan.
- Roast these tikkis on low flame in a flat pan for 2-3 mins on each side till they are lightly brown. All the ingredients are cooked previously so long cooking time is not required.
- Serve them hot with curd – mint chutney !!
- To retain the spinach colour, don’t cover the pan while cooking it. This will result in darkening of the spinach. Keep the pan uncovered and stir and cook till all the spinach dries off.