Colonel Saab launches celebration of the mighty, Indian kebab
Kebabs have been a staple of Indian cuisine since the 1200s, when they were brought to the country by Afghan invaders - not quite Deliveroo, but delicious nonetheless.
The cuisine originated in Turkey and the Middle East and dates back to the 13th Century, when soldiers would skewer marinated meat on swords and roast them over a fire.
They became so popular in India that explorer, Ibn Battuta recorded how Indians would eat kebabs for breakfast in the 1300s. And they have evolved over the centuries to the kebabilicious feast celebrated by Holborn’s luxury Indian restaurant, Colonel Saab until 30 July.
A special menu has been created for the festival, which includes delicacies such as the Tunday Kebab, which originates from Lucknow in northern India and the Shikari Raan, a goat kebab recipe developed by ancient hunters who would marinate the meat in forest herbs before cooking on a hot stone.
Other offerings, such as the Venison Soola Boti from Rajistan in northern India and and the Tandoori Roasted Tangri - made using chicken legs and grilled in a Tandoor oven - showcase the unique ways that India has evolved the flavours of the traditional kebab.
Stand-out dishes include the Meen Pollithathu - a Kerala-style kebab made from fish wrapped in banana leaves for cooking - and the Jheenga Dum Nisha, which uses fresh tiger prawns simmered in saffron sauce, flavoured with cinnamon and cardamom.
Colonel Saab owner, Roop Partap Choudhary says: “We launched this restaurant to celebrate India’s authentic and diverse cuisines - many of which were previously unknown to people in the West.
“Kebabs are an important part of that and we wanted to show how India has taken the kebab and transformed it into something quite unique, using our own spices, ingredients and recipes.
“We are so excited to welcome new and returning customers to Colonel Saab during our Kebab Festival and to introduce this cuisine to a new audience."
Today, the cuisine is loved all over the continent, with the vast differences in available spices and ingredients paving the way for hundreds of regional variations in the way kebabs are prepared and served - many of which will be available for Colonel Saab’s customers to try during the next four weeks.
The restaurant was created as a “love letter” to India and is housed in the grand, former Holborn town hall, crammed with stunning, museum-worthy art and artefacts collected by Roop and his family over the years, including the now-legendary, chandelier-filled ceiling which has exploded across Instagram.
So we can also guarantee that it will be the poshest place a kebab has ever passed your lips.
Colonel Saab 193-197 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD. The Kebab Festival runs until 30 July.