Hare kabab

Hare kabab

Cooking from the Heart
Mark Roper

The recipe below is my mum’s, enjoyed as a Shabbat meal. I have tasted many other variations from cooks in Sydney, Singapore and Los Angeles, but this is the best. There’s no need to add spices other than the ones listed. It’s a simple dish — just use the best-grade chicken and fresh ingredients. You can either cook it in a large pot on the stove, or bake it in the oven. Either way, you can then serve it on its own, or with steamed white rice and salads.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1-2 cinnamon sticks
pinch cardamom powder, (optional)
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, (optional)
pinch ground cloves, (optional)
1 whole chicken, cut up into pieces
1 bunch baby carrots, stalks off, cleaned and whole
15-18 whole small pearl onions, peeled
15 small chat potatoes, (skins can be left on)
3-4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2-3 parsley stalks, cleaned and chopped


  1. To cook the hare kabab on the stove, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then sauté the onion, garlic and ginger for 3–4 minutes, or until the onion is golden. Add the spices and fry for another 3–4 minutes, or until a thick paste forms — stir in a little water if it’s too dry.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium–low, add the chicken and stir so it becomes coated in the spices. Add the vegetables, tomato paste and 1 cup water. Mix well and cook for 2–3 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low, then cover and cook for 40–45 minutes.
  3. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue cooking, uncovered, for about 2 hours, or until almost all the liquid is absorbed, making sure the mixture doesn’t dry out or burn. The chicken should be cooked and the vegetables just tender.
  4. To cook the hare kabab in an oven, preheat the oven to 150°C and do all the steps as above, except use a large flameproof casserole dish with a lid. When all the ingredients have been combined, stir in 1 cup water, then cover and bake for 40–45 minutes. Remove the cover, reduce the heat to 125°C and bake for another 1–2 hours, or until the dish is almost dry, and checking the mixture so it doesn’t dry out or burn. (You can, if you like, have the dish less dry.)
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