Soft, mouth-watering, and juicy, this Kakori kebab recipe is everything a food enthusiast will ever ask for. Their silky, smooth, and melt-in-your-mouth texture makes these skewed delicacies simply irresistible and an extraordinary treat to your taste buds.
These rich in fiber and succulent Kakori kababs are easy to cook and pride to serve – they exude regal finesse at their best!
Kababs form an integral part of the Mughlai cuisine, and Kakori kababs are one such delicious creation, packed with myriad flavors from spices. You can make these heart-warming savory delicacies ahead of time and grill them or fry them fresh.
When grilled over charcoal, these Kakori kababs give a perfect smoky flavor that will make you drool.
What is Kakori Kebab Recipe
Kakori kababs are famous kababs in India and are a part of the acclaimed Mughlai cuisine.
‘Kakori’ means ‘softest’ and ‘kababs’ are the meat wrapped on the skewers and cooked over an open charcoal fire. These Kakori kababs are supposed to be the most tender kababs globally!
Origin of Kakori Kebab
It is believed that the origin of these Kakori kababs was from a small town (Kakori village) in Lucknow district of Uttar Pradesh in India.
There was a toothless king (Nawab of Kakori), who was fond of meat dishes. But due to his old age and being toothless, he was unable to eat his favorite meat dishes. So, he ordered his royal chefs to come up with meat dishes that have soft and tender meat.
This mouth-watering recipe of Kakori Kababs is known to have been invented during that time, as a result of several experiments.
These kababs are prepared with minced chicken or mutton meat, khoya (mawa), onions, ginger, garlic, and many aromatic and flavorsome spices. Together, these ingredients make an interesting mixture, which is then wrapped around skewers and grilled to a heavenly perfection!
You can grill these kababs in a tandoor or an oven or air-fry them for a healthier preparation. Deep-frying would be great if you like the rich, authentic flavor.
Whichever method you opt, these kababs will impress the gourmet in you!
Reasons You’ll ♡ Kakori Kebab Recipe
These irresistible Kakori Kababs are famous across the globe for their deliciousness. Here’s why they will win your heart —
- Easy to make
- Super tender and the softest kababs you ever ate
- Bursting with myriad flavors that leaves you spell-bound
- A perfect make-ahead recipe for your home parties, pot-lucks
- Can be made in a big batch and stored.
The best part, these kababs are kid-friendly and can be packed as a healthy and wholesome meal for their lunch.
Give this lip-smacking recipe a try for your next house party or pot luck, serve them as an appetizer with any spicy chutney and sway your guests off their feet!
Rest assured, they will be loved at the very first sight…..oh, the very first bite!
Kakori Kebab Recipe Ingredient list
Chicken, minced — The base ingredient for this delicious recipe, minced chicken, renders texture and structure to our kababs. Chicken can be substituted with minced mutton for this recipe, though the cooking duration will alter.
Khoya — Khoya / Mawa is added to the kakori kababs as it adds more richness, smoothness, and structure to the kababs.
Papaya paste — A key ingredient used to tenderize the Kakori Kababs. Papaya paste takes the softness of these kababs to another level.
Coconut — Desiccated coconut brings a delectable nutty flavor and slight crunch to the kababs.
Cream — Fresh cream is added for a smooth texture and richness. It also renders the kababs super soft.
Cashew powder — Adds flavor and richness to the kababs.
Ginger and Garlic Paste — Adds intense flavors and makes the kababs zestier.
Onions — Lend their intense, savory flavor that is hard to miss.
Cilantro leaves — Adds a pleasing fresh flavor to the recipe.
Oil — for deep frying the kababs. Also used for applying on hands while shaping the kababs.
Mint leaves — Fresh mint leaves take the flavor of this recipe a notch up as it adds their unique freshness.
Ground Spices — Green cardamoms, Whole black cardamoms, Cloves, Mace, Black Peppercorns, Poppy seeds, Shahi Jeera – The secret behind the enticing medley of flavors in this recipe is hidden in these Indian spices. They are the reason behind the heavenly deliciousness of these kababs.
Red Chilli Powder — This is added to the kababs for the intended spiciness.
Garam masala powder — Contributes to a plethora of flavors.
White pepper powder — It imparts an earthy flavor to the recipe.
Nutmeg powder — Lends a slightly nutty and woody flavor to the kababs.
Saffron strands — Lends a subtle floral flavor to our kababs.
Salt — for seasoning.
How to make Kakori Kebab Recipe
Prep-up — Preparing the skewers — Soaking the bamboo skewers in water will prevent them from getting burnt while the kababs are being grilled. It is best to soak them for at least 30 minutes or an hour before skewing the meat.
Roast Spices — Now combine whole spices in a heavy-bottomed wide pan. Sauté them for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until lightly brown. Keep stirring frequently to avoid burning the spices. Take the pan off the flame and allow the spices to cool completely. Once cooled, transfer the spices to a blender and blend until powdered. Set aside.
PROTIP — Dry-roasted spices add a blast of flavors to this recipe.
Prepare Kakori Kebab mixture — Combine chicken with ginger-garlic paste, papaya paste, onions, coconut, mawa, cilantro – mint leaves, spices, salt, and dry-roasted spices in a large mixing bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
PROTIP — Prevent over-mixing — These kababs should have a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and the key to reaching there is not to do certain things! Over-mixing will lead to a stiff chicken mixture, making hard kababs. To prevent this, just mix until all the ingredients have been well combined.
Chill and thread the kakori kebab recipe mix — Chilling the kabab mixture for 30 minutes will assist in the easy threading of kababs on the skewers. Chilling time in the refrigerator will also let the flavors incorporated into the mix and keep the kababs juicy and flavorful.
Dhungar Method — The dhungar method (smoked charcoal) imparts a subtle, smoke-filled flavor into any recipe. But if you’re not into smoky food, you can leave it out altogether.
Grill Kebab — Preheat the oven @375°F. Line the kakori kebab skewers on a baking tray and grill in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until done. Once done, remove from skewers and set aside.
Serve — For the most ambrosial experience, serve these kababs with chutney of your choice, onion rings, and lemon wedges.
Recipe Tips and Variations
These lip-smacking Kakori Kebabs appear to be the easiest ones, but they can become the toughest ones to nail! I am sharing my hacks to make the most tender and juicy kebabs.
For perfect shaping on the skewers — The meat mix should be dry enough to be kept gathered when being shaped. Excess moisture will make the meat fall off the skewers.
Fixing the moisture-laden meat mixture — If the mixture keeps falling off the skewers, it has more moisture than needed. To fix this, you need to add a binder. Breadcrumbs or eggs will be the best option here. Add ¼ cup of breadcrumbs and mix well. Alternatively, you can add whisked egg to the mixture. Now, shape the mix into smooth and well-shaped kababs. Please note that adding breadcrumbs will require adding some more salt to the mixture.
Do not discard chicken fat — It is best to use the chicken with fat for this recipe, as the fat helps keep the kababs juicy and tender.
Green additions — This drool-worthy kakori kebab recipe tastes great on its own. But, if you want some more taste and health to go into it, feel free to add vegetables like chopped spinach, carrots, and grated zucchini to your kebabs.
For healthier kababs — Using lean chicken makes healthier kababs without compromising on the taste. Lean chicken is the one with a relatively lower fat content. Out of all, chicken breasts are the leanest cut of chicken.
Do not overcook — These kababs are known for their juiciness and softness, which should be retained. Overcooking will dry the moisture and leave the kababs dense, dry, chewy, and stringy. It will destroy the delectability of these kababs.
Shape it as you like — Kababs can be shaped according to your choice. Keep them long, cylindrical, or round-shaped; it is entirely your call.
Cooking methods — You can cook these kababs whichever way you want. Grill them in the oven or pan cook to make the kababs that use lesser oil. For an oil-free recipe, you can resort to the air-fryer. If you want the ultimate rich taste, go for deep frying!
Let me know what you think!
Who said kababs are tough to make?
Cook these tender and juicy kababs following the steps below, and in a while, you will be proud to declare you nailed the recipe for ‘‘the world’s softest kababs’’!
Get ready to discover the royal flavors with this sinfully delicious recipe!
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
HUNGRY FOR MORE FAMILY-FAVORITE RECIPES, TRY THESE-
GROUND SPICE – INGREDIENTS
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I serve the Kakori Kababs?
Kakori Kababs can be relished in a variety of fun ways.
- Serve it as an appetizer — Serve the Kakori Kababs with the chutneys of your choice and some onion rings on the side as a delicious starter/ appetizer.
- Convert it into an exciting meal — Wrap the kababs in naan, tortilla, or roti and layer with some spicy and tangy chutneys, onions, and lettuce, and there you are; with the most delicious meal!
- For a wholesome and satisfying meal — Plate some flavored rice and top it with these kababs. A fabulous meal to remember for sure!
- For a low-calorie feast — Kakori Kababs served along with a healthy salad make a nourishing and flavorful dinner!
Can I store the Kakori Kababs?
Leftover Kakori Kababs can be stored in a refrigerator, in an air-tight container, for about 6 to 7 days. Reheating will bring them back to their freshness.
To reheat, simply warm the Kababs over the cooktop in a non-stick pan or place them in the oven at 325° F until heated through.
Are these Kababs freezer-friendly?
Yes, these kababs can freeze well to be used later. You can freeze the raw kabab mixture for a month in an air-tight container or freezer-safe bags. When you need to cook the kababs, first thaw the mix for some time. If it feels soggy, just add breadcrumbs and mix well.
The breadcrumbs will soak the excess moisture, and then you can thread the mixture on the skewers perfectly.
You can also freeze the leftover kakori kababs in an air-tight container for a month. You can broil them in the oven or cook them in an air fryer to reheat. They will become as fresh as just prepared.
How to add the smokey flavor to my kebabs?
You can easily achieve a smoky flavor in your kebab recipe. This process of smoking the food is called dhungar in India. To give dhungar to this recipe —
- Heat 2 pieces of charcoal briquettes over direct heat until red hot.
- With the help of tongs, carefully drop the burning charcoal into a steel bowl or Katori.
- Drizzle two teaspoons of ghee on top of the charcoal.
- The charcoal will start to emit smoke. Immediately cover the bowl with a glass lid and let the kebabs soak in all that smoky flavors for about 6-8 minutes. After 8 minutes, remove the lid, carefully lift the hot bowl, and set it aside.
Your smoky tandoor-style kebabs are ready. Grill them in the hot tandoor
PROTIP – Do not throw the charcoal into the bin right away. It’s still very hot. Let it cool down completely, then dispose of.