Monday, 8 July 2013

Hara Bhara Kebab and Hara Bhara Kebab Masala

Hara Bhara Kebab Masala with Parathas

This name springs up lot of memories. Taking me back to teenage days when automatically, before I even reach for the menu, I ordered hara bhara kebabs as an appetizer.  There weren’t too many starters to start with and this one got to be in limelight for quite some time.  Then other fancy and more innovative appetizers invaded the food market- Chinese starters became quite popular and hara bhara kebabs took bit of a backseat (Just like the Indian industries have taken back seat, crushed by  cheap Chinese products).  Anyways, before I digress let me come back to the point- Hara-bhara kebabs. Though I had eaten those innumerable times, I had never cooked them at home.
One day when I stepped in an Udipi called Tulsi Vihar in Kandivali which served hara bhara kebab masala as a vegetable, I was intrigued. We ordered the dish and I instantly fell in love with it. The kebabs were succulent and the gravy was awesome- quite an innovation. You simply don’t expect many innovations at Udipis, but this one proved me wrong.  The next logical step for me was to make it at home. And hence, the hunt for the recipe. I adapted the kebab recipes from those of Tarla Dalal and Sanjeev Kapoor.  Gravy was my work and Pawan and I were both very pleased with the final version :) Here are the recipes-

This Recipe serves 4-5 people
Ingredients for kebabs
½ bunch fresh palak (spinach)
300 g paneer (cottage cheese)
1 cup green peas
3-4 green chilies (medium spicy)
1 small piece ginger
1 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
½ tsp garam masala
1tsp sugar
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp oil + oil for deep frying
Salt to taste
For Garnish
15-20 split cashews

Hara Bhara Kebabs

Method for kebabs:
1.     Heat water in a large bowl. Add salt. Now add cleaned palak to the water. Blanch it for 5-10 minutes, uncovered. Strain all the excess water and keep the palak aside.
2.     Crush the peas, ginger, fennel seeds and green chilies in a mixer to make coarse paste. Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan and sauté the paste on low to medium flame, stirring continuously for 10-15 minutes. Add sugar. Remove from heat. Now add amchur powder, garam masala and salt and mix well.
3.     Process blanched palak in a mixer to make a paste. Do not add any water when doing this.
4.     Crumble paneer with hands.
5.     Add crumbled paneer to cooled green pea mixture and then slowly add palak paste to it, taking care that the mixture doesn’t become watery. It needs to be thick enough to be able to make balls with.
6.     Make medium sized flattened rounds from the final mixture. You can take help of some oil or corn-flour if the mixture is sticking to your hands. Add a bit of corn-flour if the mixture is not thick enough.
7.     In the meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying the kebabs in a med-sized wok. Deep fry the flattened green rounds and keep them on an absorbent paper to soak the excess oil.
8.     In the mean while sauté the cashews in the same pan using the remaining ½ tsp oil till they are slightly brown. Garnish the hara bhara kebabs with the cashews. You can garnish the kebabs with plain cashews too (without sautéing). 

Ingredients for gravy
1 bunch fresh palak (spinach)
4-5 garlic cloves
2-3 green chilies (medium spicy)
a small piece of ginger- about 1/2"
½ tsp garam masala
2 tbsp fresh cream
Salt to taste
For Garnish (optional)
1 tbsp cream

Method for gravy:
1.    Blanch palak just as explained above. Make it into a paste with green chilies and ginger in a mixer once it has cooled down.
2.     Chop garlic cloves finely or crush them with mortar and pestle.
3.      Sauté them on a low flame into a pan with 1 tbsp oil. Once garlic is slightly coloured, add the palak paste.
4.      Cook on a medium flame for 5-7 minutes. Add lemon juice and garam masala. Mix well.
5.      Add salt and mix well. Remove from heat. Add 1 tbsp cream and gently mix together.

Add kebabs to gravy just 5-7 minutes before serving. The time is good enough for the kebabs to soak the gravy but not long enough to suck up all the gravy and make the dish dry.

 This dish is as green as it gets and is delicious. Bon Apetit!


  1. Definitely trying this out! Thanks! :)

    1. u r most welcome :) Let me know how it turned out :)

    2. I too stay in kandivali west and have we have enjoyed Hara bhara kabab masala from tulsi vihar
      many times...thanks for the recipe..will definitely try at home

    3. I too stay in kandivali west and have we have enjoyed Hara bhara kabab masala from tulsi vihar
      many times...thanks for the recipe..will definitely try at home

  2. Great place for easy and quick recipes. This is a perfect place for a foodie like me. You can add one more delectable recipe to your list. "hara bhara kabab"


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