I wanted to name these kebabs as Vegetarian/ Vegan Galouti Kebabs coz to me they seem to be the nearly-perfect counterpart to the famous galouti kebabs of the Awadhi cuisine. Awadhi cuisine has a variety of kebab delicacies but galouti kebabs are unique since they have meat that is minced so fine and then tenderized that they virtually melt in your mouth. It is actually a super soft version of shami kebabs.

Kebabs are delicately spiced meat patties that are shallow fried in ghee or clarified butter on a skillet or griddle (unlike the tandoori kebabs of Punjab which are grilled in an open clay oven).
Legend has it that the ageing ruler of Lucknow, Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daulah, lost all his teeth but not his appetite for the kebabs! To satisfy the craving of the toothless nawab, the royal chef invented a new form of kebab. He used the finest lamb meat cuts, minced them very fine and added to them tenderizing agents along with a variety of spices to bring forth the now famous galouti kebabs.
Here is vegetarian/ vegan adaptation of the famous cult dish that is the soul of the Awadhi cuisine. These kebabs are so tasty that even non-vegetarians can relish them! In fact, when I first had them, I couldn’t spot them to be made from raw bananas of all the things!! There was not even a hint of the taste of raw bananas. 

The only trick involved to make these kebabs is that the banana and gram dal should not be overcooked. They both should be cooked yet have a somewhat firm texture. If they get over cooked, you may end up with a sticky mixture to deal with!
I love the kebabs with fresh cilantro or mint-coriander chutney but since these kebabs are bursting with spices which can be a tad strong, along with the chutneys, I  also use whipped hung curd to serve so as to have a cooling effect on the palate. J
You will need:
2 raw bananas
½ cup split Bengal gram dal
1 pod black cardamom (I used only ½ amount of seeds)
5 cloves
½ inch piece cinnamon
1 pinch mace powder
3 cloves garlic
½ inch ginger
2 green chillies
Salt to taste
½ cup fresh coriander (optional)
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
To serve:
Cilantro Chutney or Mint-Coriander Chutney
Tomato Sauce
½ Cup beaten hung curd or Greek Yoghurt (Optional)

Soak the gram dal for an hour in warm water
Peel and chop the bananas in one inch thick pieces.
Boil them in half a cup of water (I used half a cup since I pressure cooked them. You may use more water if you are boiling them in a pan)
Cook them till they are still firm yet they can be pierced by a knife
Drain the cooked bananas
Soak the gram dal for one hour.
Boil the gram dal in 3/4 cup of water till it is firm but cooked (i pressure cooked it so adjust the amount of water if you are boiling in a container)
In a pan roast the whole garam masala – black cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon.
Grind them to a powder using mortar and pestle
Using a mixer-grinder, grind the cooked dal (do not add water)
Add cooked bananas along with the ginger, garlic, green chillies, powdered whole garam masala, mace powder and salt.
Grind till everything is well incorporated.
Remove the mixture in a bowl and moisten your hands. Using a spoon scoop out the mixture, about the size of a peach, and make a ball by rolling it between your palms.
Flatten it and using fingers seal any cracks that may appear on the edges. Flatten them to half an inch thickness.
Place the kebabs on a greased plate.
To Fry:
Take 2-3 tsp in a non-stick pan and when it heats, carefully add the kebabs to the pan.
Cook on a medium high heat.
Keep adding more oil if required at any stage of frying
Keep checking for the colour of the kebab.
Cook them till they become slightly brownish (about 35 seconds to 45 seconds) and using kitchen tongs turn them over to cook the other (top) side the same way.
Remove them on a kitchen towel or absorbent paper.
To Serve:
Arrange the kebabs on the serving place and add a generous spoon of yoghurt to them and serve along the chutney and sauce.
Note: Please adjust the whole spices to suit your taste. You may want more of one and less of another!

Note: Usually kebabs are not served with tomato sauce but kids mostly enjoy them with it.

Note: You can serve them as starters or snacks or you can serve them as a main course dish with the flat Indian bread such as roti/chapati or parantha.

(Makes 8-9 kebabs)

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Linked post to Food Corner Contest hosted by Amy