Our shami kebab recipe will help you make these popular kebabs that are full of flavour, crispy on the outside and soft, smooth and silky on the inside.
Shami kebabs are hugely popular throughout the Indian subcontinent, mostly enjoyed as an appetiser or snack, served with a tangy green chutney.
They are small round kebabs made of ground meat, chana dal and spices, which are dipped in beaten eggs then lightly fried.
They are not only full of flavour but have great texture too as you bite through the slightly crispy exterior sinking your teeth into a silky smooth interior.
Enjoy them on their own or in a wrap with salad, a dollop of yogurt (or raita) and chutney.
Shami kebabs are high in protein as they are made with ground meat, chana dal (from the chickpea family) and eggs.
We hope our shami kebab recipe will become a family favourite for you too!
Click the subscribe button above to get more recipes like this to your inbox.
Where do they come from?
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.
How its made
This recipe for shami kebab is quite easy.
Ground meat, dal and spices are cooked in a large saucepan, then mixed with fresh ingredients, shaped into round patties and finally dipped in egg wash and lightly fried on either side in a skillet.
Shami kebabs can be made with any type of ground meat. You could use goat meat, chicken, beef or a mixture of beef and lamb for a smoother texture.
If using red meat, make sure it has some fat and is not lean. This is so the kebabs remain moist and do not fall apart while shaping and cooking.
For chicken shami kebabs, as chicken does not have much fat, mix in an extra beaten egg to help the patties keep their shape.
Chana dal which is a variety of chickpea also known as Bengal gram or yellow split peas. It is is easily available from most Indian grocery shops or the Asian/World section of the supermarket aisle.
Chana are smaller than Garbanzo beans or white chickpeas and they are yellow as their brown skin has been removed.
Whole chickpeas require overnight soaking but chana dal only requires a minimum of one hour soaking so it softens during the cooking process.
Tip: Make sure your chana dal is good quality and fresh. I found out recently if you buy dal that is near its expiry date it takes twice as long to soften, if at all!
Step by step instructions
Give yourself plenty of time to make these kebabs. It takes around 2 hours or you could prepare the meat mixture in advance and fry the kebabs later on (see below for advice on making this in advance)
Rinse the chana dal till the water runs clear then leave the dal to soak for at least an hour so they start to soften.
Drain the dal and add to a large saucepan along with the ground meat.
- The garlic and ginger can be sliced roughly as they will be ground finer with the meat later.
- The meat and dal should take around 45-50 minutes to cook by which time the dal will have softened.
- Blend the mixture to a paste for a silky smooth interior.
- Allow time for the mixture to cool before forming into round patties (so it doesn’t burn your hands).
- Then dip each patty to coat fully in beaten eggs and lightly fry on either side.
- Keep the kebabs apart while cooking so they are easy to flip and cook evenly.
Fun fact: In Lucknow’s Awadhi cuisine (which was heavily influenced by Mughal cooking), kebabs are mostly cooked in a skillet, whereas Punjabi kebabs are usually cooked on skewers in a tandoor oven.
Make in advance
As with many red meat dishes, these kebabs taste even better if they are made some hours in advance or even the day before.
Once the mince and dal mixture has cooled, shape into round patties, then cover and keep in the fridge (or freeze) till required.
Before serving dip the patties in the egg wash and lightly fry on either side till golden.
How to serve them
You may also like …
Are you making these shami kebabs? Leave a comment and rate the recipe in the comments below. If you are sharing it on social media tag us @endofthefork.
Cooking the mince
- ½ kg mince lamb 1 lb, with fat
- ½ kg mince beef 1 lb, with fat
- 190 g chana dal 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon red chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons ginger chopped small
- 5 medium cloves garlic chopped small
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 350 ml warm water 1½ cups
Add to cooked meat mixture
- 2 whole birds eye green chillies finely chopped, adjust quantity according to taste
- 2 teaspoons salt adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion diced small
- 8 g cilantro coriander leaves, ½ cup, chopped roughly (optional)
- 5 g mint leaves 3 tablespoons, chopped roughly (optional)
- 6 medium/large eggs lightly beaten
- vegetable oil to shallow fry
Cook the meat
- Rinse and soak 190 g chana dal in water till fully submerged for at least 1 hour.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, on medium heat, add the drained split peas, ½ kg mince lamb, ½ kg mince beef, 2 teaspoons salt , 1 tablespoon red chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 2 teaspoons cumin powder, 5 medium cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons ginger, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 350 ml warm water and mix well.
- Cover and cook on low heat stirring occasionally till the chana dal softens and the water has evaporated (45-50 minutes). The mixture should be a moist paste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Use a stick blender to blend the mixture to a smooth paste. Then cover and set aside to cool down to shape into patties.
- Add 1 large onion, 2 whole birds eye green chillies, 5 g mint leaves and 8 g cilantro then mix well.
- Shape into balls (size of a golf ball) and flatten to make round patties.
- Coat each patty in the beaten egg mix (6 medium/large eggs) then lightly fry in vegetable oil on either side till golden. Serve warm with a green chutney.
Only you will see your notes and you can edit them anytime.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information above is an estimate per serving.
@ EndoftheFork.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is encouraged and appreciated, however copying and pasting full recipes to social media or other platforms is strictly prohibited.