Shami Kebab, Meat or Chicken

Shami Kabab

Mamta Gupta

Shami Kebabs are very popular as a starter or a snack. They have a special, delicate flavour and are quite easy to make even though the recipe looks complicated. They are rather friable, so pan fry them gently. Makes 10-12


  • 500 gm. mince lamb meat. Other meats and even chicken mince can be used.

  • 125 gm. (1 1/2 average sized tea cup) chana dal (skinless Bengal gram/Black chickpea Dal),

  • 2 onions (200-250 gm.) peeled and roughly chopped

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled

  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 3-4 cloves*

  • 5-6 peppercorns*

  • 2-3 green cardamoms*

  • 1-2 large black cardamoms*

  • 1/2 inch stick of cinnamon*

  • 2 bay leaves*

  • *If you do not have these ingredients, use 1 full tsp. of Garam Masala at the end of cooking.

  • 2 tsp. coriander powder or seeds

  • 2-3 dry red chillies or 1/4 tsp. powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 eggs lightly beaten

  • A small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped

  • A small bunch of mint leaves finely chopped

  • Oil for pan frying


  1. Wash and soak dal for 30 minutes. Drain.

  2. Place all ingredients in a pan, except the last three (egg, coriander and mint leaves). Cook until meat and dal are cooked and all the water is absorbed. You can cook these in a pressure cooker, for 2 pressures or 5 minutes under full pressure. To finish off, stir fry on high until all the liquid is dried off and the meat looks quite dry.

  3. Pick out and discard large cardamoms, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Allow meat to cool.

  4. Grind in a food processor until smooth.

  5. Add 2 lightly beaten eggs, coriander and mint leaves. Mix well.

  6. Adjust seasoning. Leave covered in the fridge for an hour or two or even overnight for the mix to set a little.

  7. Divide into 12-15 portions and shape like a hamburgers or pear drops or rings. Size and shape is your choice. If you are making them for cocktail party, make them quite small.

  8. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. It is always a good idea to test fry one kebab first. If it is too friable and difficult to hold together, add 1-2 tbs. gram flour or besan to the mix before continuing with the rest. Shallow fry all kebabs until brown and crisp on both sides.

  9. Serve hot with Green Mango Chutney.

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