Baked Kebab in tomato onion sauce aka Kebab Hindi is a fall favorite. Baked, cozy and warm, this is dish is the ultimate comfort food and like all our dishes, is so easy, I promise!
I consulted with some family members before I made this dish to really make it authentic. One of my uncles, Kamal, is a passionate cook that was salting his meat before even Salt Bae was born. He understands technique, flavor profiles, and is an overall dynamic but cool personality. I told him I was planning on making kebab hindi, adding some onions, tomatoes and potatoes and he wasn’t having it. Getting upset and his voice getting louder as if I was trying to convince him the sky isn’t blue. If you add potatoes he told me in an irritated tone, it’s a different dish, but if you want to make kebab Hindi you can’t add potatoes. But why can’t it be kebab Hindi with potatoes? I didn’t understand. He cut me off and said no, it’s not Kebab hindi then. You can do what you want and add the potatoes but it’s a different dish. Repeating himself because he felt I didn’t understand the first time.
It made me laugh at first because it pretty much sums up Middle Eastern parents and cooking style in that region. Tradition is tradition and things are passed down from one generation to the next in precise technique. This is the way it’s been done. You cannot change the way things have been done for so many years and call it the same. Staying true to the recipe is deeply emotional. It’s like trying to add cheese to a hamburger, but continue to call it a hamburger. It’s a different dish at that point. It’s called a cheeseburger. And thats what he’s trying to say.
Why is this dish called Kebab Hindi, which means Indian Kebab?
There is little information on the origins of the name but I suspect it has to do with the Spice trade. Middle Eastern traders dominated the spice routes throughout the Indian Ocean, shipping spices from India to the Persian gulf and beyond during the Medieval times. Although this dish does not have the sterotypical spices found in Indian dishes, so it is quite the conundrum.
Regardless of it’s origins, this dish is easy, requires simple ingredients, and just so delicious. Meat kebabs are browned and then baked together with a delicious tomato and onion sauce. Traditionally this dish requires the tomatoes to be boiled beforehand and skin peeled before cooking, but I say, it taste delicious without that extra step so let’s save the time. If your kids are like mine and feel partial to meatball shape instead of kebabs, do that. I don’t think my uncle reads this blog so I’ll include several other variations that taste just as delicious without the risk of him being upset with me.
- add potatoes to make it more hearty
- ideally serve with this vermicelli rice on the side, if not, than regular white rice or eat it with pita bread
- traditionally served with a plate of crispy green peppers on the side
- top with pine nuts and/or parsley for a more visually appealing plate
Baked kebab in tomato onion sauce aka Kebab Hindi is the ultimate easy comfort food. Flavorful kebabs get cooked in a cozy tomato onion sauce before being baked all together and served with rice or pita bread
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 10 tomatoes, diced the riper the better
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 onion, grated
Preheat oven to 350
add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 pepper to the ground beef, mix well and for into kebabs or meatballs
in a medium sized skillet, add oil, tomatos, onions, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, tomato paste, and pomegranate molasses on low to medium heat stirring frequently until it forms into a sauce consistency
remove sauce and add kebabs to brown but not cook fully, make sure to turn kebabs so all sides brown evenly
top browned kebabs with sauce
cover and put in oven for 20 minutes
garnish with toasted pine nuts, almonds and/or parlsey
- Can substitute fresh tomatoes with 2 cans of diced tomato