A Pakistani BBQ delicacy, Bihari Kabab are thin strips of beef marinated in a spicy homemade masala and finished off with coal smoke. Traditionally they are grilled over charcoal but to make it easy for everyone in this recipe they are cooked in a pan.
Bihari Kabab is originally from Bihar, India and now is also a popular BBQ item in Pakistan. They are spicy, very tender pieces of beef that are barbecued on a charcoal grill.
These thin strips of beef are marinated with a meat tenderizer for absolute softness, yogurt, fried onions and a bold seasoning mix that adds spice and flavour and finished off with mustard oil which is an integral part of their flavouring.
With Eid-ul-Adha (Bakra Eid) just around the corner this dish is the perfect addition to your Eid menu. Also, if you do not own a grill, you can fry or bake these kababs and smoke with coal to replicate the BBQ aroma.
Homemade Bihari Kabab Spice Mix
You'll need the following essential spices to make your own Bihari Kabab seasoning. Refer to the recipe card below for the remaining regular spices and measurements. For ease, I am mentioning the Urdu names alongside and linking the spices.
- Green Cardamom (harri illaichi)
- Bay Leaves (tez paat)
- Coriander Seeds (sabit dhaniya)
- Poppy Seeds (khashkhash)
- White Cumin (safaid zeera)
- Black Cumin (kala zeera)
- Red Button Chilies (gol laal mirch) Use whole dried chili if you can't find these.
- Mace Powder (jaifal)
- Nutmeg Powder (javitri)
How To Make Bihari Kabab
- Prepare the ingredients. Brown the onion in mustard oil or use ready-made crushed brown onion. Reserve the mustard oil for marination. If you are using store-bought brown onion, then add ¼ cup mustard oil to the marination. Then roast the whole spices and grind finely. Add the rest of the powder spices to it, mix and keep aside.
- Marinate the meat. Add all the marination ingredients to the beef (see recipe card) and keep in the fridge for minimum 2 hours. If you plan to keep the beef overnight then don't add the meat tenderizer. Add it just 2 hours prior to cooking.
- Thread onto skewers. Use metal or wooden skewers. If wooden, make sure you pre-soak them. Thread 4-5 pieces of beef strips onto each skewer.
- Cook the kababs. The best and most authentic way of making Bihari Kababs is to grill them. If you don't have a grill, then you can pan-fry them as shown in this recipe or even bake them. And then give them coal smoke at the end.
- Serve hot and enjoy. See below for serving ideas.
What Kind of Meat To Use
Use thin strips of boneless beef or veal tenderloin (undercut in Pakistan) for authentic flavour. Mutton or lamb can be used to if preferred. Usually the butcher will cut the meat for you. If not, you can do it at home and flatten the strips with a steak hammer.
What To Serve With Bihari Kabab
Watch How To Make It
More Eid-ul-Adha Recipes
- 500 g beef tenderloin strips flattened
- ⅓ cup mustard oil plus extra for frying
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2 green cardamom
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon white cumin
- 1 teaspoon black cumin NOT nigella seeds
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 4-5 red button chilies
- ¼ teaspoon mace powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer or 1 tablespoon papaya paste
- ¼ cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- Heat mustard oil and fry the onions till they are golden brown. Strain the oil and keep aside to use in marination later. Grind the onions finely.
- Heat another clean pan. Add green cardamom, bay leaves, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, white cumin, black cumin and red button chilies. Roast these for 1-2 mins on medium-high heat until they are fragrant.
- Cool slightly and add to your grinder. Grind till they turn into a powder.
- In this powder, further add mace powder, nutmeg powder, salt, red chili powder, paprika powder and garam masala. Mix. This is your Bihari Kabab seasoning.
- To the beef strips, add the prepared seasoning, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, meat tenderizer and the leftover mustard oil. Mix well and leave to marinate for 2-4 hours. If you plan to marinate overnight then add the meat tenderizer just 2 hours before cooking.
- Take a metal or wooden skewers. If wooden, pre-soak them in water for 30 mins to avoid burning. Take a strip of beef and start threading it into your skewer. Thread 4-5 beef strips onto each skewer (it may vary depending on the length of your skewer). See the process in the video above.
- At this point, you can barbecue these kababs on a charcoal grill or bake them in oven.
- For pan-frying, heat 1-2 tablespoon of mustard oil in a pan. Then place your skewers and cook till they are no longer pink and cooked through.
- Put all the Bihari Kabab in a deep pan with a lid. Place a piece of foil in the middle and put a hot coal on it. Drizzle some oil and immediately cover the pan with lid or foil tightly. Give smoke for 8-10 mins.
- Garnish with fresh coriander, lemon wedges and red onion slices.
Use 4-6 unsalted cashews if poppy seeds are not available.
In Pakistan, you can ask your butcher to give you 'pasanday' meat or undercut meat for Bihari Kabab.
If you have whole nutmeg and mace, then add it to the grinder with the roasted spices.
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