Indian Food

Mom’s Kathal & Chana Dal Kebab

Kathal ke Kebab is a delicious Indian snack, made with a type of squash called Kathal, which is a rich source of Vitamin C, and beans called Chana Dal, which is full of protein. In this recipe, we will be mixing the Kathal with chopped garlic, ginger, onions, and other spices, then mixing in the Chana Dal, and finally stuffing the mixture into a big vada maker to make it into a round shape. Serve with some spicy red chutney!

Kathal ke kabab is a popular dish from the western parts in India. It is made in the Taftan region of Iran. The ingredients are ground black lentils (urad dal), green chilies, coriander leaves, and many more. It is cooked with clarified butter and sugar along with chopped onions. This is a very popular dish in the Punjab region of India.

My mom made these delicious kebabs (tortillas) with kathal (jackfruit), chana dal and a whole lot of spices, which melt on the tongue! We ate them with parathas and chutneys. They are also vegan and gluten free.

There are a few things I distinctly remember as my mother’s specialty in the kitchen. One of them was kathal and chana dal skewers. I think these kebabs have more to do with eastern Uttar Pradesh, as I have never heard of them otherwise.

If you have my cookbook, there’s even a jackfruit and chana dal recipe inspired by these kebabs.

My dad loves these kebabs and every year when the kathal (jackfruit) was in season, my mom would make them for him. My mother always said that for this kebab you need young jackfruit, not ripe, so she went hunting for young kathal and then cooked this kebab.

You could say that this kebab is a vegetarian version of those melt-in-your-mouth galuti lamb kebabs.

Jackfruit and chana dal skewer

These kababs or tortillas are made from chana dal and young jackfruits that are pressure cooked with whole spices, then ground into a fine paste and pan fried.

Because there is no binder, these skewers are extremely soft and melt in your mouth. That’s why you have to be very careful when you make them, because they break easily.

  • are vegan and gluten-free.
  • Can be eaten as a starter or as a dish with parathas.
  • have a creamy and melting texture.
  • Very aromatic and fragrant with all the spices.

For this recipe, the jackfruit and chana dal must first be pressure cooked. While my mom used her traditional pressure cooker, I of course used my Instant Pot.

The chana dal and jackfruit are cooked together with a variety of spices. After cooking, the mixture is ground into a paste, formed into chops and fried in the pan.

My mother used to grind the mixture with the power of a mortar (grinder), which gave the skewers much more texture. But since I don’t have one here, I used my Blendtec. We prefer some texture with these skewers, so we don’t need a very smooth paste.

Ingredients

The two main ingredients are jackfruit and chana dal.

Cathal (Jackfruit): As I mentioned above, for this recipe we need young jackfruits, not ripe ones. I used canned young jackfruits because they were available. Fresh jackfruit was also available at my local Asian store, but it wasn’t young, so I had to use the can. But if you can find fresh, young cathal, use it in the recipe.

Chana valley: You can find chana dal (a type of lentil) in any Indian grocery store. I also have a great chana dal recipe on the blog if you want to try it.

Whole spices: There are many whole spices – bay leaves, cumin seeds, green cardamom, black cardamom, peppercorns. All these herbs give these brochettes a delicious aroma and taste.

Ground spices : In addition to whole spices, this recipe requires ground spices, such as garam masala, coriander powder, amchur (dried mango powder).

In addition, the recipe also includes onion, ginger and garlic, which are commonly used in Indian cuisine. I didn’t add cilantro because I don’t remember my mom putting it in, but it will be delicious and you can definitely add fresh cilantro.

Step-by-step instructions

1- Press the Go to Instant Pot button. When hot, add the oil and then all the spices – cumin, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom and cayenne pepper. Roast for a few seconds until the spices are fragrant.

2- Then add the jackfruit (if you use canned like I did, make sure you drain all the liquid from the can and rinse it well before using it in the recipe), chana dal, garlic, ginger, green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3- Add 3/4 cup of water (if you have an 8 kettle pan, you may need to add a little more water), stir and close the lid.

4- Press the manual button or the pressure cooker button and cook for 15 minutes at high pressure with the pressure valve in the closed position. Release the pressure naturally.

5- Once the pressure is off, open the lid and remove the bay leaf and black cardamom.

6- Put the mixture in the blender.

7- Add a little water (I added about 2-3 tablespoons) and mix. A little texture doesn’t hurt here, so it’s good to leave a little chana dal in the mixture as is (without mixing it), it will add texture to the kebabs. Don’t use too much water to mix, or the mixture won’t be able to incorporate into the skewers.

8- Put the mixture in a bowl. Add chopped onion, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

9- Mix everything together with a spoon or with your hands.

10- Now take a lemon-sized portion of the mixture (about 50-55 grams), roll it between your palms and form a circle about 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Fry all the skewers in the same way.

11- How to heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place the skewers in the hot oil.

12- Fry one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip it over (very carefully as the skewer will be crumbly) and cook the other side until golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Fry all the skewers in the same way.

Serve these kathal chana dal skewers with chutney and parathas.

Service proposals

You can serve them with cilantro chutney or ketchup as an appetizer or snack. Or serve it as a side dish with a salad.

Or you can enjoy it with parathas like we do! You can even make parathas and kebabs.

Spread the chutney over the paratha, place the kebab in the middle, add the chopped onions, sprinkle with chaat masala and enjoy.

Can they be baked on the air?

So I tried to bake them on the air because I knew you were going to ask me to.

If you like, you can roast them outdoors at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. But air frying makes the skewers hard, and these skewers should melt in your mouth. So, if you ask me, I don’t recommend air frying them because the texture will completely change.

Use of fresh or canned grapefruit

I used canned jackfruit, but you can use fresh.

Just make sure the jackfruit is young. It doesn’t have to be adult.

Canned jackfruit is available in Asian grocery stores, even Indian stores have it. Again, look for young jacquaires.

Residual memory

Wrap the skewers in aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator. They should keep for 3 to 4 days.

You can also refrigerate the mixture unchanged. Form the mixture into skewers and bake when you are ready to eat them.

Tips and tricks

  • Do not use ripe jackfruits for these skewers. A young jackfruit tree is needed.
  • The amount of spice can be adjusted according to taste. For spicier kebabs, add more green chilies. You can also add red pepper powder to the mixture with the rest of the spices.
  • These skewers are very fragile because they contain no binder. So be very careful when frying them in the pan and turn them over with a spatula.
  • Ghee can also be used to prepare these skewers. It will be delicious, but I prefer to use butter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you heat up a kebab?

I prefer to heat it in a pan over medium heat. Turn over and heat on both sides.

Can I make them without the Instant Pot?

Yes, just use a pressure cooker on the stove and cook it 7-8 whistles on medium heat.

Can I freeze these skewers?

Maybe I didn’t try. But you can try freezing them without baking them. Fry them immediately if you want to eat them.

If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to write it down! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s new in my kitchen, and on YouTube to watch my latest videos.

Kathal and Chana-Dal-Kebab

Manali

Vegan and gluten-free chana dal and jackfruit skewers that melt in your mouth! Flavored with whole and ground spices, they make a great aperitif or appetizer. You can enjoy it with parathas too!

Cooking time 15 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes

Total time 1 hour

Culinary aperitif

Indian kitchen

Serves 12 skewers

Calories 105 kcal

  • Press the Instant Pot Spring button. When hot, add the oil and then all the spices – cumin, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom and peppercorns. Roast for a few seconds until the spices are fragrant.
  • Then add the jackfruit (if like me you use canned fruit, make sure you drain all the liquid from the can and rinse it well before using it in this recipe), chana dal, garlic, ginger, green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Add 3/4 cup water (if you have an 8-hour pan, you may need to add a little more water), stir and close the lid. Press the button on the pressure cooker or manual pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes at high pressure with the pressure valve in the closed position. Release the pressure naturally.
  • Once the pressure is reduced, open the lid and remove the bay leaf and black cardamom. Put the mixture in a blender.
  • Add a little water (I added about 2-3 tablespoons) and mix. A little texture doesn’t hurt here, so it’s good to leave a little chana dal in the mixture as is (without mixing it), it will add texture to the kebabs. Remember not to use too much water to mix, or you won’t be able to attach the mixture to a skewer.
  • Put the mixture in a bowl. Add chopped onion, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix everything together with a spoon or your hands.
  • Now take a lemon-sized portion of the mixture (about 50-55 g), roll it between your palms and then form a circle about 2.5 centimetres in diameter. Prepare all the skewers in the same way.
  • Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place the skewers in the hot oil. 12- Fry one side until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip it over (very carefully as the skewer will be crumbly) and cook the other side until golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Fry all the skewers in the same way. Serve these kathal chana dal skewers with chutney and parathas.
  • Do not use ripe jackfruit for these skewers. A young jackfruit tree is needed.
  • The amount of spice can be adjusted according to taste. For spicier kebabs, add more green chilies. You can also add red pepper powder to the mixture with the rest of the spices.
  • Chopped cilantro can also be added to the skewer mixture.
  • These skewers are very fragile because they contain no binder. So be very careful when you fry them and turn them over gently with a spatula.
  • Ghee can also be used to prepare these skewers. It will be delicious, but I prefer to use butter.

Calories: 105 kcalCarbohydrates: 15 g Protein: 2 gFat: 4 gSaturated fat: 1 gTrans fat: 1 gSodium: 164 mgPotassium: 135 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A : 8 IU Vitamin C: 2 mg Calcium: 27 mg Iron: 1 mg

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