A meal that was created on a valiant fighter’s sword and cooked on the flaming red fires in the theater of war– a meal that nourished and healed the wounded – the Seekh kebab – reflects the fiery and robust, yet humble nature of its brave soldiers.
The kebab, in general, can be traced back to myriad cuisines originating from the Asian and African settlements. Well-known traveller, Ibn-e-Batuta cited that the kebab came to India with the Afghan raiders long before the Mughal invasion and became a part of the culture. The seekh kebab that was born on the Turkish battlefields was not far behind in reaching India and today is an integral part of what we know as Indian cuisine! A seekh or shish comes from the Turkish word for a sword or a metal skewer and kebab means ‘to roast’ – thus giving the dish its name – a kebab cooked on a metal skewer!
The Turkish soldiers skewered chunks of marinated meat on their swords and cooked it over open fires. The most famous Turkish dish for the world, seekh kebabs are generally made of lamb but there are also versions with beef, veal, fish, and chicken but pork is not used. Though traditionally served all by itself, today seekh kebab is accompanied by a variety of breads, rice and salad to make it a complete meal. The original marinade was a heady mix of mostly lemon juice, oil, yoghurt, onion, cinnamon, wild marjoram, tomato, milk and other local spices. The sweet-toothed Mughal royalty mellowed it down by adding dry fruits and aromatic herbs to suit their palate and gifted India with another royal recipe.
In the arena of the Jewel kitchen, our chefs are no less than the Turkish soldiers – when it comes to making seekh kebab that is! Under their expert command, tender juice and fresh meat-mince bathes in a potent mixture of Indian spices and adorns the skewer to become these smoky, succulent and flavourful kebabs that are to die for! Have them with a wedge of lime and our signature mint chutney, pair these with a salad for a light brunch or have them with bread or rice for a perfect meal – the seekh kebab will always emerge as the knight in shining armour!