Bihari Kabab. A popular street food of Karachi, Pakistan

Bihari Kabab, also known as Bihari Boti is a distinctive dish. A popular street food of Karachi, Pakistan, this is also a favorite choice during BBQ recipe season and Bakra Eid. This is an easy recipe to make once you get the hang of it. With an unusual flavor profile and texture, you definitely want to try this interesting food.

Meat tenderizer
Spice Grinder/Coffee Grinder
4 Skewers
Grill Pan
roasting pan

¼ cup avocado oil (SEE NOTES)
1 ¼ lbs tenderloin strips (SEE NOTES)
½ onion (SEE NOTES)
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
½ tbsp green chili paste
½ kiwi (SEE NOTES)
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ tbsp gram flour (besan) (SEE FLOUR)

Whole Spice Mix
½ tbsp poppy seeds
½ tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp mace
1 tbsp star anise
5 whole red kashmiri chilies

Powdered Spices
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp black pepper powder

Take the tenderloin strips and beat them with a meat tenderizer till they are very thin.
Chop the onion and fry it in the ¼ cup oil till it is a deep brown and set aside.
Peel half a kiwi and set it aside
Dry roast the whole spices and then grind them to a powder using a spice grinder/coffee grinder
Take ALL of the ingredients EXCEPT the beef tenderloin strips and grind them to a paste in a food processor.
Marinate the beef in this mixture overnight (SEE NOTES)
Remove the meat from the fridge after the marination period is over and thread the strips on the skewers.
Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit
Drizzle a little Avocado oil on the grill pan and then saute the skewered meat till it is brown on all four sides.
Brush the roasting Pan with some oil and place the skewers in it.
Drizzle any remaining marinade over the skewers.
Cover with foil and bake for about 30-60 minutes, till the meat is cooked through.

Oil – Traditionally, Bihari Kabab are cooked with Mustard Oil (Sarson Ka Tel). It gives a special taste and smell to the kabab.
I personally use avocado oil for mine as I prefer it for most of my cooking but if you want a truly authentic flavor then try the mustard oil.
Meat – Using the right meat is key to the kebab’s turning out well. The recipe requires the use of Beef tenderloin. This is then cut into thin strips that are pounded using a meat tenderizer till they are paper thin (called ‘parchas’).
Onion – The onion needs to be chopped, browned in the ¼ cup of oil and then ground to a paste, with the oil included, to be used in the marinade.
Kiwi – Traditionally, raw papaya is used as a tenderizer in the Bihari kabab recipe. No more than 1 tablespoon per pound of meat should be used. Too much can actually cause the meat to shred and also taste bitter.
In the absence of availability, Kiwi works amazingly well as a substitute and is my go to here in the USA.
Powdered meat tenderizer is also an option but I’m not a huge fan as I’ve always found that it alters the taste of the kebab and leaves the texture short of being authentic. If that is your only option, use about 1 tablespoon per pound.
Gram Flour – Gram flour, or Chickpea flour is made from a specific South Asian Chickpea. In this recipe it adds a nice nutty taste and also helps act as a binding agent, making the ground spices stick to the meat and not fall off during marination and cooking.
Marinade Time – You will see many recipes with a variety of suggestions for the marination time. After much experimentation… if you use beef tenderloin, cut in thin strips as recommended in this recipe and a kiwi, overnight marination is necessary to get the right texture for these kebab. However, make sure you don’t exceed 12 hours or the meet will start tearing and shredding as you thread it on the skewers.

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