Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dubai Food Festival and Gilafi seekh Kebab Recipe

Huh! Pretty long time and the same rant in the past two years I have moved a lot KSA, Bahrain Dubai Oman and  back to Dubai and with all this excitement came some not so good events like the long drawn illness of my son  that kept me away from everything... brooding and struggling I had given up on pretty much everything but right now things have begun to look a bit better and here I am again ready to pick up the strings of life and move on. During this time I am sure all of you my readers whom I each call a foodgoddess ( my male readers please forgive me for leaving you out) must have had a lot of fun and please hold on to the good things in life like good health for instance and never feel  depressed  not even for a moment, for want of  other things as long as you have this blessing in your life.

Okay, so here I am in this exciting city of Dubai and this is a happening place, and its energy amazes me, not a bleak moment, there is something for everyone here.Right now it is the Dubai Food Festival that is happening as a stretch of  various events scheduled between 21st February and 15th of March.The Dubai food carnival was over a week ago and I had great fun attending it. Sanjeev Kapoor, Silvena Rowe, Master Chef John Torode were all part of this. The Beach Canteen event is happening right now and what's unique about it is that it is built from refurbished cargo containers on three prime beach locations of Dubai and  will serve up a tasty fare of Emirati, Mexican, Egyptian,Italian French,Japanese and International cuisines. The Taste of Dubai festival is bang on between 13-15 of March with world class chefs,cooking classes coupled with world class entertainment and it is being touted as a foodlover's fantasy.

Well, coming back to the food carnival that took place on 21-22 of Feb it was one fantastic event.The celebrity chefs, live entertainment, live cooking and interactive sessions with chefs where particpants could ask questions, bloggers forum, competitions like My dad can cook, Little greenfingers and Yalla BBQ, pop up food court, and Carnival Rowe a pop up restaurant with a three course menu  sourced from local organic produce of UAE by celebrity chef from U.K Silvena Rowe who is also a consultant chef at Hotel H Dubai and associated with greenheart organic farms in Dubai were all interesting features.

It was a great opportunity for food lovers to meet up Chef  Sanjeev Kapoor and get his autograph and also meet Chef Akshay Nayyar who is being mentored by the great stalwart himself  and  is currently heading a signature restaurant of Sanjeev Kapoor( Melia Dubai) and is also the judge on Foodshala the U.A.E cookery competition show that has begun to be telecast on Colors TV.Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor went on to demonstrate a simple starter Crab Cakes.He got the audience involved in the cooking process and with his witty lines and a great sense of humor narrated anecdotes from his experiences as a chef.The crab cake recipe was simple he added chopped up prawns crab meat ginger garlic paste coriander,green chillies dried pomegranate seeds, spices,lemon juice seasoning and chilly powder rolled them up into smooth cakes and shallow fried them in batches in a pan.He asked questions like what color is the saffron producing crocus flower and who is the world's largest producer of pistachios and he stated that the best pistachios come from Iran.He also took questions from participants about everything and here are a few of them

What are the basic ingredients for Indian cooking?
Coriander,turmeric cumin and chilly powder.

Which one is the best biryani you ever had?
The one prepared by my wife with goat meat and it is made without oil purely in goat meat stock.

Any significant dish or incident you cannot forget?
While working in New Zealand had prepared a spicy dish of chicken overly spiced with chillies for a western customer who wanted to taste the spiciest dish of India,despite informing him that on regular basis Indians cook simple food and do not add to much spice or chilly

Carnival Rowe organic menu
Celebrity Chef Silvena Rowe

Now here is a recipe inspired by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's cooking and it has become our family favorite.It is very simple to make but has a great impact when included as a starter in any dinner party menu.

 Mutton Gilafi Seekh Kebabs

500 gms minced lamb(80/20 meat fat ratio)
2 tbs cashew nuts powdered
2 large onions sliced and fried crisp to a golden  brown color
1 tbs ginger and  garlic each combined  into paste
1 egg
2 green chillies finely chopped
fresh corinader and mint leaves
lemon juice 2 tsps
1 tsp cumin powder
2tsp coriander powder
salt as required
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp chat masala
oil to fry onions
butter to baste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp kewra water (screw-pine natural edible essence) optional (but it enhances aroma greatly if you could find it)

Clean and wash minced lamb and press between palms to remove excess water.In a bowl combine mince,salt,mint and coriander leaves,ginger garlic paste,spice powders,lemon juice,chopped green chillies kewra water,cashew nut powder and mix well now pass once through a mixer to get a smooth dough.Refrigerate for half hour and divide mixture into equal portions,dip in beaten egg,now they are ready to go on skewers but work with wet hands to make it easy to shape them on skewers.Cook in an oven preheated to 225 degrees for 20 minutes turning and  basting it with butter and remaining egg from time to time.Ensure they are cooked but don't let them dry out in the oven due to overcooking.Serve with onion rings,lemon wedges and yoghurt mint coriander dip.Alternatively you can put them on bamboo skewers and cook them on a tawa/griddle turning them often and using a little oil.The kebab dough can be prepared in advance and kept in refrigerator a day or two ahead from when you plan to serve them.

photo credit: Silvena Rowe  DFC official image


  1. Good to see you back. A good read and must try recipe.

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