Shami Kebabs are a popular North Indian food, normally served as an appetiser or snack. They are full of flavour, crispy on the outside and soft, smooth and silky inside.
The Nawab of Oudh (18th Century), Asad ud Daula, is said to have been so fond of food that he commissioned the royal chefs to come up with a new dish everyday, and the Shami Kebab was one such creation. In a city proud of their kebabs, the bazaar cooks of Lucknow were known to make the best Shami Kebabs.
In Lucknow’s Awadhi cuisine (which is heavily influenced by Mughal cooking), kebabs are cooked in a skillet, unlike Punjabi kebabs which are cooked in a tandoor. These Shami kebabs are full of flavour, crispy on the outside and soft, smooth and silky inside. They can be made with beef but lamb is preferred due to its smooth texture.
As an appetiser or a snack, they are delicious with sliced raw onions, a squeeze of lemon (or lime) juice and a spicy chutney. They can also be served wrapped in a roti.
- 1 kg mince lamb
- 1 cup split chickpeas (chana dal)
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 inches minced fresh ginger
- 2-3 cloves minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 3 cups warm water
- 2 finger green chillies broken in half
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- mild olive oil or sunflower oil to shallow fry
- 3 medium eggs lightly beaten
Rinse and soak the split chickpeas in water for at least 1 hour.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, on medium heat, add the split chickpeas, mince, salt, red chilli, gram masala, cumin, garlic, ginger and water and mix well. Cover and cook, on low heat, stirring occasionally, till the chickpeas are soft and the water has evaporated (approx. 45 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Blend till the mixture is smooth. It should be of a pâté consistency.
Add the onion, chopped mint and cilantro/coriander and mix well.
Make medium size round patties, dip them in the beaten eggs and shallow fry. Serve warm with a chutney.
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