Abraysham kabaub

Abraysham kabaub

Silk kebab

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Makes
30
Photographer
Alan Benson

This fascinating sweet is actually a sweet omelette cooked in a most unusual way. Afghan cooks differ about how the silken-thread omelette should be prepared. I have given the method that works best for me — once you have the idea you might devise a simpler method.

This is regarded as one of the great delicacies of Afghan cooking, but the ‘kebab’ part of the name is rather confusing. Perhaps it is because the final pieces resemble kebab meats; personally I cannot see it.

Syrup

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
330g sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, (optional)

Omelette

Quantity Ingredient
8 eggs
pinch salt

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
500ml vegetable oil
100g pistachio nuts or walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Method

  1. To make the syrup, dissolve the sugar in 250 ml water in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, add the lemon juice and saffron, if using, and boil for 10 minutes. Cool and strain 1nto a 25 cm pie plate, then set aside.
  2. To make the omelette, break the eggs into a flat-based dish about 20 cm in diameter; the size of the dish and the flat base are important. Add a pinch of salt and mix the eggs with a fork until the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined — but do not beat, as the eggs must not be foamy.
  3. Heat the oil in an electric frying pan to 190°C, or in a 25 cm frying pan placed on a temperature-controlled hot plate or burner.
  4. Have ready a long skewer, the plate of syrup, a baking tray and the nuts mixed with the cardamom. A bowl of water and a cloth for drying your hands are also necessary.
  5. Hold the dish with the eggs in one hand, next to and slightly above the pan of oil. Put a hand into the egg, palm down, so the egg covers the back of the hand. Lift out your hand, curling your fingers slightly inwards, then open out over the hot oil, fingers pointing down. Move your hand across the oiled surface so the egg falls in streams from your fingertips. Dip your hand in the egg again and make more strands across those already in the pan. Repeat three or four times, until about an eighth of the egg is used. There should be a closely meshed layer of egg strands about 20 cm across. Work quickly so the last lot of egg is added not long after the first lot.
  6. Quickly rinse your hand and dry it. Slide the skewer under the bubbling omelette, lift it up and turn it over to lightly brown on the other side. The first side will be bubbly, the underside somewhat smoother. When the omelette is golden brown, lift it out with the skewer and drain over the pan.
  7. Place the omelette flat in the syrup, spoon over the syrup and lift it out with a skewer onto a baking tray. Roll it up with the bubbly side inwards. The finished roll should be about 3 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with nuts and set aside.
  8. Repeat with the remaining egg, making seven or eight rolls in all. Although the depth of the egg reduces, you will become so adept that somehow you will get it into the pan in fine strands.
  9. When cool, cut the rolls into 4–5 cm pieces and serve. These keep well in a sealed container in a cool place.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
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