I first saw this recipe in a Readers Digest cook book my dad presented my mom with in 1988. She of course, did nothing with it as cooking was the least of her interests, but I remember looking at this and drooling but could never make it because of all the fancy ingredients required.
In India in the ’90’s, especially the countryside, there was no question of getting even remotely fancy ingredients like parsley or dried herbs and even mozzarella. So I gave up the idea and would just keep looking at the lovely fancy pictures of exotic dishes that seemed to be a pipe dream. Moreover my cooking skills were sub zero at the time so there was no way I could even imagine adapting it.
Now, with access to almost everything these days, especially in the big cities, it’s become a possibility. I made it for the first time yesterday, adapting the recipe to suit my inclinations and it came out very well, so I thought I’d share it with all of you.
These patties can be made into mini sized patties and served as appetisers or even as a side with dinner or you can make them into larger burger patties. That option sounds amazing too and I’m surely going to try that out someday and post it. For now, I leave you with this edition.
Adapted from: Readers Digest Guide to Creative Cooking and Entertaining.
Ingredients (makes 22 small patties or 11 burger patties)
500 gms lamb or mutton mince
1 medium onion finely diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
150 gms mozzarella cheese
Vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl mix the lamb, onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil and parsley well.
- Beat the egg in a separate bowl and add to the lamb mixture and mix till well incorporated.
- Form 22 balls with the patties and cut out 22 pieces of mozzarella cheese (I cut them in thin squares half centimetre thick a little less than 1 inch wide and pressed the edges to round them. This depends on what shape your mozzarella comes in. You could use bocconcini.)
- Flatten the mince balls in your hand, place the mozzarella piece in the middle and cover well with the mince and form them into patties approximately 1.5 cm thick.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of oil for frying. Fry the patties about 2 minutes on medium heat, flip them over, fry for another two minutes and take the heat down to the lowest setting, cover the patties with a lid and fry for about 4 to 5 minutes more.
- Fill the pan about 3/4 cm with oil and fry the kebabs for 2.5 to 3 minutes per side till they become brown all over. This will give you a more even coating but I prefer the above method as the patties stay more succulent.
Enjoy them hot. Some of the mozzarella might leak out of the patties while frying, That would happen if there are gaps in your mutton mince covering. Add a thicker layer of mutton mince if you don’t want leakage.
Important Notes: Before removing from the pan, check to see if the patties are totally done. Keep them covered and on low heat for an additional minute or so till you are satisfied.