The winter (that never was this year) is officially over I think. We had no snow, not a flake.
This is the first time in this past eighteen years that I did not press my nose against the ice cold window seeing it get foggy with my breath and watch the snow softly cover the ground. The first time that I did not run down the hallway when I woke up to see the outside turned into a wonderland. The first time that I did not worry about driving on the slippery slithery roads. The first time that I did not rush out and close my eyes and have the snow touch my face, or stick out my tongue to find out how many flakes I could catch. The winter remained incomplete in many ways.
The roads now are lined with spring blooms. The mint in my yard stayed fresh and green through the winter months, but now they all over the place, creeping, crawling and running wild.
I got some of the stalks and planted them in a little pot in my kitchen; seems like they are growing half an inch a day!
Since I am mostly by myself at home during the lunch hour, I try to fix something quick and healthy for myself. I was working in the yard getting the beds ready for the vegetables. I came back with a bunch of mint and cooked up this little sausage like rolls along with some Harissa and had it with a big plate of fruits and vegetables.
Indian cuisine has varieties of kebabs. This is a simple version made with what we call keema or minced meat. I love the Adana Kebab in the Turkish cuisine, which I have realized is the same thing as any Keema Kebab. I have used Harissa this time, but if you do not have Harissa, just use a combination of fresh cloves of garlic and chili pepper/chili powder.
These rolls make fantastic finger food and really delicious appetizers too. When I make these for a party they disappear in no time. They are good make ahead food too and just need to be warmed in the oven before serving. But they taste best fresh off the grill.
Mint Flavored Minced Meat Kebab/Rolls
Ingredients: (makes approx. 15, approx. 2 inch sized rolls)
- 1 lb minced meat, any kind – I have used chicken (any other kind the cooking time will be longer and will need to be adjusted)
- 2 tablespoon corn starch (powder)
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- a pinch of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup packed fresh mint (or as much or as little you want), finely chopped
- 3-5 large cloves of garlic, minced or grated OR 1 tablespoon Harissa
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled & grated or very thinly sliced
- 2-3 hot green chili pepper, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed
- salt to taste
- generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
- oil to shallow fry
- Chaat Masala to sprinkle before serving (optional)
Feel free to use whatever you want.
Today I have used:
- Iceberg lettuce
- red onions
- a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice (optional)
Combine (and slightly mash) all ingredients except for the chopped onions and the oil to shallow fry. Allow it to rest for at least half an hour.
When you are ready to make, combine the onions and mix with spoon. Divide the mixture into small handfuls and roll into small sausage shapes.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan or griddle. Cook the rolls/sausages over low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning them occasionally ( so all sides are cooked) , or until cooked through.
The rolls may be baked in the oven at about 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until the inside is cooked through and the outside is browned, tuning them around and basting with oil a few times.
If you want to cook them on a grill: grill the rolls for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and browned on the outside.
Alternatively these rolls may be deep fried, but I do not deep fry them. If deep frying if your thing, go ahead and do it! Drain well on a paper towel before serving if you are deep frying.
Sprinkle some Chaat Masala just before serving. Serve with Mint and Coriander Chutney, or yogurt or your favorite condiment. Serve as an appetizer or a part of the main meal (serve with bread/rice and a salad)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (in oven), less on the stove and grill
Serves 3-4 as a starter.
Difficulty level: Easy