Desi Men, Let's Talk In The Kitchen - Karachi Bun Kabab (Kind of)
Welcome to the second episode of Desi Men, Let's Talk In The Kitchen.
I hope you enjoyed the first episode, the response on social media was incredible!
I'm so grateful to everyone who shared, engaged and sent in pictures of their dishes for the series. All this energy makes me feel very optimistic going forward!
Before we proceed with the second episode I thought I'd lay some ground rules down for anyone participating.
The aim of this series is to get more Desi men into the kitchen so that we can build their cooking skills together through intuitive cooking. More importantly the aim of this series is to show Desi men how cathartic cooking can be as a practice. With this in mind I propose the following rules:
You won't always get it right and that's okay - learning is not a linear process (believe me I've messed up quite a few dinners in my time!)
Forget Instagram - you're not here to make pretty dishes for Instagram (not that there's anything wrong with that). You're here to learn cooking and that's where our emphasis is
Keep trying! - Cooking can be complicated and challenging. It's times like these where you will need patience. You might not get it the first time, but with practice and patience you'll get there
Right, let's begin!
Today we're making a variation of the Karachi Bun Kebab. I've accompanied mine with naan and some fresh veg salad - which was heavenly!
I'd recommend following that structure for a good balance. However, you could potentially explore swapping the naan for rice if need be - if you do let me know!
Here's what you'll need ingredient wise for what we're cooking today:
Once you've got your ingredients it's time to grab your spices. This is the fun part where you can really colour your dish in a way you want. The colour I'm going for today is quite yellow.
This is what I used for my dish:
1 whole chilli
Cayenne pepper powder
Also please remember salt and pepper. For once I'd endorse being salty trololol (okay that joke got old last week).
Okay Taimour, How spicy is this dish?
The dish I made was high on the spicy chart.
So if you have a low tolerance to hot/spicy food then I'd recommend taking out the 1 whole chilli. Equally, please replace the cayenne pepper powder with cumin powder. Cumin is a good alternative as it will retain the South Asian flavour profile, but help the dish stay mild.
Time to get cooking!
As we chop up the vegetables please remember your mindful breathing. Use this section of your cooking as a way to align your breathing with what you're doing. This should ultimately help alleviate anxiety you may be holding in your breathe and your body. You got this pyario (a non-gendered affectionate term), I've got faith in you <3
Just a pointer here, keep your onion slices quite chunky. Simple thick slices are ideal for the kebab. Equally, for the potatoes, they need to be sliced quite thin - as you can see below from an action shot here.
For the garlic, there's no chopping involved. Just remove the skin and keep the garlic cloves whole.
Once your mindful breathing and chopping is done we can now oil up the pan.
(I always use coconut oil or olive oil to cook. Coconut oil I find really good for cooking crispy foods, it really helps the meat soak up the richness of the coconut.)
The first dish to be cooked is the crispy potatoes! So the reason the potatoes need to be sliced quite thin is because they'll serve as a layer between the fried egg and the meat in our Karahi Bun Kebab.
Once your pan is ready to go put all of your potatoes in and spread them out. Add in your salt and your pepper. To get the crisp right without burning your potatoes I'm going to bullet point the process. Here goes:
Cook your potatoes on a high heat until you see them turning golden crisp
Once they start turning golden on one side put in your chopped chilli, kashmiri mirch (in a zig-zag like me lol) and put in some more oil
Now, grab a spatula and shake-up your chopped potatoes to ensure that they're cooked on all sides- at this point bring your heat down to low
Monitor and oil until the potatoes are crispy on all sides
what you should end up with is the picture on the bottom right.
Like its taste, this is a fast and fiery dish, so flame management and consistent oiling is important so that you don't burn your potatoes and your pan (that's a big no-no haha!).
Over-time you will be able to cook this dish alongside your other planned dishes. However, given that the potatoes require a lot of concentration I felt it was best to keep this section isolated.
Now that the potatoes are out of the way we can start making the burgers.
The burgers will be cooked with your whole garlic cloves. Pop your burger into the pan along with your garlic clove.
Along with salt and pepper, put some cayenne pepper (or alternative) on your burgers.
While you're monitoring the burgers, the minute the garlic cloves start to crisp take them out. They'll be used for something cheeky later ;).
The cooking of the burgers on a medium heat shouldn't take more than 12 minutes. Especially if you're using the same pan you used for the potatoes.
The consistency of the burgers should be similar to the picture on the top left.
How cooking helps me re-connect with my history:
As I was cooking the burgers for this episode it made me realise further how important cooking has been in helping me rediscover and re-engage with childhood memories from Karachi.
The reason I'm cooking a spin on the Karachi Bun Kebab is because through cooking I'm able to recreate parts of my childhood in the present. Equally, it is through cooking that I'm able to share my history in the present with people I care about - all of which is priceless.
Something I hope you can re-create for yourself.
Right, let's continue - almost there!
Time to cook some onions. The onions shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. Outside of some salt and pepper, put some turmeric powder to give the onions a nice yellow tinge.
As your onions cook on a medium flame - remember your crispy garlic cloves you took out from the burgers? Well put them in near to the end.
What you should have in the end is the picture on the right.
Before finishing up, it's time to cook a fried egg - the egg is going to practically cover the dish under it's cape (almost like Batman but not).
There you have it, you've cooked everything you need. Now it's time to assemble your Karachi Bun Kebab (EBE style haha).
In order to assemble the Karachi bun kebab here's the order:
Here's a few pictures of what mine looked like with and without the egg:
Now, you can add in your naan (which I crisped up on a tava) and some salad to have a complete dish - as you can see below:
As challenging as that was you've done it and you should be proud. The Karachi Bun Kebab is quite a challenging dish to make, and yet here you are! Cooking like a chef from Karachi making your ami and my ami proud!
Whether you decide to share with loved ones or simply devour it by yourself as you Netflix and chill I hope you enjoy your khoobsurat (beautiful) dish.
That's it for this week folks, come by next week when we cook aloo keema with a keto-naan (controversial I know!). We'll also make a vegeterian friendly dish next week also - so see you then!
As always if you have any feedback for this series please do just email in or reach out on social media. Would love to hear from you on how the presentation, description and 'how to' can be made better and more accessible.
Also, get involved and tag #Desimenletstalkinthekitchen to share what you've been up to in the kitchen.