Vegetarian Shashlik with Buttered Rice

A traditionally meaty shashlik gets a vegetarian Indo-Chinese makeover by Priya Sreeram.
By Priya Sreeram


Shashlik or Shashlyk literally means skewing marinated pieces of meat (lamb/pork/beef) or alternating the meat with veggies or any other choices and grilling/roasting them over charcoal, wood or a barbecue. For the marinade I played with the spices in my pantry and what resulted was a tasty medley of Indo-Chinese & Mediterranean flavours in it. The core ingredients then soaked up this finger-licking juice for a few hours while remaining refrigerated. Later they were threaded to skewers and grilled for the smoky-charred hue.

In the meanwhile, a spicy arrabbiata sauce with tomatoes, garlic & dried basil was prepared, to give the dish a fine resounding punch. This sauce was a perfect companion to the steaming buttered rice. Doesn’t that sound wonderful ? and yes it matched its taste as well as its looks! Hop in to the recipe section and see if you can give your own twist to the dish.

Vegetarian Shashlik on a bed of buttered rice
 
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Luscious cubes of Cottage Cheese (Paneer) ,fresh mushrooms , delightful chunks of pineapple play in a heady medley of peppy marinade. They are then threaded to skewers and grilled till smoky & Charred
Author:
Recipe Type: Appetiser,Main
Serves: 3
Ingredients
The Star Ingredients
  • Cottage Cheese - 400 grams - cut in to chunky rectangles
  • Bell Pepper (Green) - 1 large - cored and cubed
  • Pineapple - 1 small - cubed in to chunky pieces
  • Button Mushrooms - a few - washed thoroughly and halved (depending on the size)
  • Onion - 1 large - peeled and cubed
For the marinade (Do taste the marinade to adjust the spices as your taste buds dictate)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar - 10 to12 tbsp
  • Texan Barbecue Sauce - 3 to 4 tbsp - or to taste
  • Tobasco Sauce - 1 tbsp - to taste
  • Dark Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp
  • Dates Syrup - 1 tbsp
  • Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Dry Mango Powder - 1 tsp
  • Dry Ginger Powder- ½ tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper Powder - ½ tsp
  • Ginger & Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp each
  • Coriander - a few sprigs - finely chopped
  • Mint - few leaves - finely chopped
  • Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
  • Dried Rosemary,Chives,Oregano, Basil - ½ tsp of each- to taste
For the Sauce (Arrabbiata)
  • Tomato - 4 small sized - chopped
  • Tomato Ketchup - a liberal squeeze or two (I used Kissan)
  • Garlic - 4 pods - chopped
  • Dried Basil Leaves - 1 tbsp (you can use fresh leaves if available)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Water - a cup
For the Buttered Rice
  • Cooked Rice - 1 cup
  • Salted Butter- 1½ tbsp
Instructions
  1. Keep the veggies, cheese,mushroom & pineapple cubed and ready to mingle with the marinade.
  2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the marinade and set aside. Mix the sliced chunky ingredients into the marinade and refrigerate it for 2-4 hours. Refrigeration allows the pieces to absorb the juices completely.
  3. In the meanwhile prepare the sauce as follows-- In a pan add a splash of olive oil and saute the chopped garlic for some time. Add the tomatoes and let it cook till it starts turning mushy. Then tip in the tomato ketchup and the dried basil and give it a swirl. Drop in a cup of water and season the mix with salt and pepper. Let it simmer till it attains the desired consistency.
  4. Once the chunks of veggies and cheese are marinated- thread them along a skewer and roast/grill them in a barbecue or oven till it is charred.
  5. I placed the skewer rods on the barbecue grill and grilled them @ 240 C.
  6. Every once in a while, I basted the skewers with the left over marinade. Grill till it turns charred & smoky.
  7. In a small skillet add butter and as it browns toss in the cooked rice.
  8. Time to plate-up - Spread the buttered rice on a plate and place the skewer on it. Pour in the sauce generously and tuck-in immediately when hot.
Notes
You can serve the shashlik as a cocktail snack or appetizer too!
 

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