Taj Kebab Recipe

Taj Kebab Recipe Recipe

When I was first offered the Haute Potato project a year ago, I was asked to come up with 75 gourmet potato dishes. On that very same day, I probably already had hundreds of recipes lined up in my head. I tried featuring potato dishes from around the world, but as you can imagine, a lot were left out of the final product. So today here's a potato dish that would have been in the "Spicy" chapter.

I learned this dish from Mina, my husband's cousin. It's called "Taj kebab" and if you like meat and potato as much as I do, you will love this one. This potato dish consists of layers of spiced ground beef, sliced potatoes, and thick fresh tomato slices.  The recipe was developed in Agra, just where the Taj Mahal is, and it will transport you to one of the seven wonders of the world!


Yields: 8 servings

1½ pounds white potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into ½"-slices
1½ teaspoons salt
3 large tomatoes, cut into ½" slices
7 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, freshly grated
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon green papaya (see tips), grated
1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, freshly grated
1 teaspoon red chili powder, to taste
½ cup beef stock, as needed
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1½ tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric, as needed
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


For the meat: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush a shallow casserole dish with canola oil. Heat the canola oil in a deep dish. Add the onions and cook for 8 minutes until golden brown. Increase the heat and add the cumin seeds, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the rest of the spices and stir well. Add the ground beef and papaya paste (meat tenderizer). Stir until the meat changes color. Season with salt. Add tomato paste and ½ cup beef broth. Cover, decrease the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Simmer until a little of the liquid evaporates and the mixture becomes thicker. A layer of red oil should rise to the surface; the meat is ready. Check seasoning.

Assembly time: Spread a layer of the ground beef into the casserole dish. Cover with the sliced potatoes. Add a layer of fresh tomatoes. Continue layering each flavor and finish with ground beef and a topping of fresh tomatoes. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, change your oven setting to broil for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm.



Green papaya works well as a meat tenderizer to ensure juicy and moist meat. The papaya paste was Baji, Lulu's late grandma's secret for tender and moist meat. Peel a green papaya. Grind the cubed papaya with seeds in a mini food processor; place about 1 tablespoon of papaya paste per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the flavor without getting freezer burn.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 23, 2013.


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