“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Making galouti kababs at Ananta in Oberoi Dubai

Every one who knows me, knows my love (my family’s love actually) for Galouti Kababs. Galouti Kababs melt me down, always… as the melt-in-the-mouth minced kebabs melt in my mouth! The Galouti always deserved a special post in my blog. With a hands-on experience in a masterclass on how to make real Galoutis and the Dum Pakht style of cooking, I feel that I can finally belt out a melting post full of aroma, while the taste of the kababs still linger on. Chef Dirham, a Galouti expert, took us through this masterclass experience at Ananta, a fine dining Indian restaurant at The Oberoi Dubai.

making of galouti kabab

Galouti, Galauti or Galawati? Well, I’ve been on my own trail in search of this special form of kebab which practically melts in the mouth, lending the name Galawati or ‘the one that melts’. Galouti Kabab is a minced meat round patty cooked over griddle, smoked with aromatic spices – traditionally, with 160 different spices! Invented during the rule of Nawab Asaf ud Daula in Lucknow, a princely Indian city from where the Lucknowi or the Awadhi cuisine originated, the Galauti Kababs were made specially for the aging toothless nawab.

The historical connection between Kolkata and Awadhi Cuisine: For anyone who has some connection to Kolkata, Biryanis and Kababs mean essentially the style of cooking, or the Awadhi style. In 1857 AD, after the Awadh kingdom (modern day Lucknow) was annexed by the British, Mohammed Wajid Ali Shah Bahadur (1822 AD-1887 AD), the Nawab or the ruler of Lucknow, was exiled to Calcutta (today’s Kolkata). His passion for gourmet food traveled from Lucknow to Calcutta and was nurtured, garnished and fuelled by his special Bawarchis or the Chefs of the Nawab. Although Mughlai food is definitely not Bengali food, a discussion on Kolkata cuisine will remain incomplete without the former. The Biryani or the Kababs that we have grown up eating are the authentic Awadhi Biryani or Awadhi Kababs, cooked in the Dum pukht style. This is the style of cooking where a dish is cooked on very low flame, mostly in sealed containers so that the meat cooks in it’s own juices – the Indian version of the sous vide cooking. A few months back, I had the honour of showcasing the royal Kolkata Biryani in a culinary event at the Lafayette Gourmet. I have a lot of nostalgia and good memories of Mughlai food that we used to eat in Kolkata, specially from a restaurant named Shiraz Golden Restaurant, which now has a branch in Bur Dubai. {More on Lucknowy or the Awadhi style of cooking and the Dum Pukht from Wiki}

Galouti Kabab

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1kg lamb boti (cubed lamb)
100gm lamb kidney fat
10gm dry rose petal flower
60gm ghee or clarified indian butter
15gm green cardamon powder
5gm black cardamon powder
5gm clove powder
10ml kewra water (screwpine, more here)
10ml rose water
70gm fried brown onion paste
30gm raw papaya paste
1gm saffron powder
3gm all spice*
salt to taste

Method of Preparation
– Mince the lamb boti and kidney fat together, mince it 7-8 times to get a very fine mince
– Transfer the lamb mince to a big bowl
– Add all the spices above and mix well with your hands
– Refrigerate the marinated mince for about 12 hours
– Heat a flat frying pan. Add ghee (oh yes, generously!)
– Make small patties of the minced Lamb and shallow fry on a very low heat until the kebabs and cooked and tender

* All Spice is a blend of spice that is available in the Indian section of most supermarkets in Dubai like Lulu, Spinneys, Carrefour. If not, then you will definitely get any Indian spice at any branch of Al Adil supermarkets.

Tips from my hands on experience: Ghee, more Ghee and slightly more Ghee (see below) – is indeed one of the secret ingredients to the soft Kababs, apart from the very many spices that go into them. The mince taken from the lamb leg would be the most judicious choice. Invest some time to marinate it overnight, one of the key factors in giving out a strong flavour and aroma, something that is so intrinsic to Galoutis. The minced lamb should be tenderly cooked yet the patties shouldn’t be fried so much that they would have a hard crust. It can be a difficult task to arrive at that right balance, and this is where the expertise lie.

Galawati kabab in the making

Galawati kabab in the making
Warki Paratha

Apart from the Galouti Kababs, I also learnt to make the Warki Paratha, a layered wholemeal flat bread with a coronation of edible silver foil on top (above).  These parathas complemented the soft, melting Kababs perfectly. All the hard work (to watch with full concentration amidst the aroma and retaining every bit of the knowledge till I downloaded every little detail and and my five-pence of wisdom onto my humble post, is hard work, isn’t it?) was soon compensated by the Royal North Indian thali (further below) that arrived at the table with an Indian Bellini to gulp down the food with. Indian Bellini, did I hear you say? Well, my food blogger friend who writes Coffee, Cakes and Running, shares the amazingly easy recipe that you may want to try!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

Disclaimer: Chef Dirham has been flown specially from Gurgaon and his Dum Pukht menu is available at The Oberoi between 22nd – 31st January, 2014. I was an invited guest of Oberoi Hotels. This isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliated links. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and all my bills have been self paid. While you enjoy reading my posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts. Do join me on my daily food and travel journey on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Ananta in Oberoi Dubai

26 Comments on “Ananta in Oberoi Dubai | The royal recipe of Galouti Kababs

  1. Thanks for the ping back and the interesting read. The research you do behind your posts is always really informative and memories of the evening make me smile.

  2. Pingback: Dum Pukht – Galouti Kebabs & Indian Bellini | CoffeeCakesAndRunning

  3. Having lived in Lucknow for many many years I am easily disturbed many a times to see very superficial research on Galouti Kababs and the story of their beginning. It was great to read yours 🙂 ….And another secret apart from the ghee…lies in the marination period!

    • Thank you Neel! So is the marination period that I have mentioned (12 hours) good enough time or it needs to be done for a longer period? Any suggestion as to how we could make the vegetarian version of Galouti preparation – Soya mince perhaps?

      • The longer the marination the better – 24 hours or even more works….never heard about a veggie version….now you got me thinking…

  4. I totally love galouti kebabs…interesting recipe with the addition of dry rose petals…A great post of what seemed like a great masterclass….Going to put down Ananta as a must visit especially for kababs that are in your photographs:))

    • Thank you Shy! Well I am yet to comment on the Ananta menu – I haven’t tried anything else apart from these Kababs and a Thali which comes at Dhs 300/person. Even the simple Daal tasted so brilliant – the Ghee, I suppose!!! The Masterclass was very nice and currently this special Dum Pukht Menu will be there for some time.

  5. Love the recipe. But I have never heard of kidney fat 🙁 I don’t think I can add it with a clear conscience. I have heard about galouti kabab a lot but never had it. I’ll make ti soon. You are one lucky girl to learn the kabab and the paratha from the experts. 🙂

  6. Totally decadent… I love it!! That thali of foods looks amazing. Happy New Year lovely. Here’s to many more food adventures x

    • Thank you so much Mallika! Decadent… lovely adjective for Galoutis! North India-te banana leaf-e ki serve kore khabar? Very curious.

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  8. Allspice in itself is a spice that looks a lot like black peppercorn – just little smaller and has a flavour which is a mix of multiple spices (garam masala) thus, giving it that name. It is also called ‘kebabchini’ and many other names across different regions. It also happens to be a core ingredient for Jamaican jerk chicken.

    • Thank you Amit… huge apologies for having overlooked your comment. Didn’t know this… the use of allspice in Bengali kitchen is very less.

      • Well kebabchini is cubeb spice that’s used in alot of preparations in lucknow and delhi areas mostly in meat preparations…and the allspice mr. Amit was trying to explain about is totally different thing actually it’s jamaican and is not readily available in india and indian stores worldwide…allspice tastes like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon put together hence the name while cubeb spice is pungent and has a unique flavour so make sure uuh are using the right spice… hope this helps…! !

  9. Pingback: Dum Pukht - Galouti Kebabs & Indian Bellini | CoffeeCakesAndRunning

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  11. Pingback: What we ate in Lucknow – and still dreaming of – IshitaUnblogged

  12. Pingback: What we ate in Lucknow – and still dreaming of - Travel Guides Info

    • I just came across my Lucknow post in your website, without any link out to the original write up or mentioning the author. Can you please explain?

  13. you wrote that there were 120 different spices which were used in making galauti kebab but its wrong info.. when it was first made by chef Hajid Murad Ali, he used 160 different spices in it.

    • Hi Rahul, thanks much for the info… I may have got the wrong info. I will be updating my post for sure. Thanks much !

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