Looking for the perfect appetizer that is hearty, comes with a kick and is easy to eat? It came our way via Food & Wine in 2010. Depending upon your guests you can serve it with a spicy dipping sauce to turn up the heat, or a sweet tamarind, mango or apricot dipping sauce to tone it down.
“Hemant Oberoi makes kebabs with ground chicken, herbs, spices and cheese (cheddar stands in here for the Amul cheese he uses). He fries the round kebabs until crisp and golden brown and serves them on sugarcane skewers to add a little sweetness, although any kind of skewer will work”—Food & Wine Magazine
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded mild cheddar (4 ounces)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mint
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped onion
1 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (our addition)
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, preferably black (we often sub in ground cumin here)
Maggi Hot & Spicy sauce, mango chutney, apricot chutney, or tamarind chutney for serving
In a large bowl, knead the chicken with the cheddar, onion, cilantro, mint, ginger, garlic, jalapeño, cumin seeds, paprika, garam masala, salt and cardamom. Using lightly moistened hands (we rub a penny sized dollop of oil between our palms to keep the ground chicken from sticking all over us), roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.
Put the beaten eggs and bread crumbs in 2 separate pie plates. Roll the balls in the egg and then dredge in the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere.
In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Working in batches, fry the chicken balls over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Pierce each kebab with a short skewer and transfer to a platter. Serve with chutney or hot & spicy sauce.