I first had Bihari Kebabs at a Bangladeshi restaurant. Not a very high-end restaurant, but a hole-in-the-wall place in Danforth. My ignorant guess was that it was probably made by a Bihari cook, and hence the name. I was finally beginning to feel proud of a "Bihari" footprint in the world of kebabs!
But I was not too surprised to know that Bihari Kebabs are one of the most popular kebabs in Pakistani cuisine. Though I have seen some variations in its recipe, what I have recreated today is the closest my palate can recollect from the finger-licking tender kebabs I had at Makkah.
You will need about 500 gms of boneless beef, cut into strips or cubes. Add to that a small cup of plain yogurt and the juice of two freshly squeezed limes. The wet marination which you need to prepare in a blender is ginger, garlic, green chilies, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, raw papaya, and chana daal. Add to the meat red chili powder, fresh cracked black pepper, coriander powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and salt.
Mix everything in a glass dish - your hands work wonders while mixing the marinade! A lot of people do add the paste of fried onions, but my recipe does not have that. Another day, maybe.
The meat should be marinated for about 6-7 hours. On a hot day, it will be a good idea to refrigerate it while its waiting.
Skewer the meat pieces and brush them with vegetable oil. Barbeque on a charcoal grill or oven at high. I know of people using mustard oil for basting, but I was not too thrilled by the idea of that and hence chose veg oil. Barbeque for about 10-12 minutes turning the skewers frequently.
These kebabs are great appetizers. Serve with some fresh salad, green chutney and onion rings and you will not stop licking your own fingers! I did a little fusion and served them with tortilla wraps. I spread some green coriander-garlic chutney and topped the tortillas with crumbled feta, chopped cucumber, onion and tomato.