Shami Kababs

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Average: 5 (2 votes)
Makes 25-30 kababs

One of the best versions of kababs out there! Shami kababs are a popular Afghan and Indian variety of kabab, also found in Pakistani cuisine. They are often garnished with lemon juice and/or sliced raw onions, and may be eaten with chutney made from mint or coriander.

1 kg
steak, cubed and cleaned
(preferably rump but not fillet because fillet is too soft for this dish)
small red potatoes, peeled and cubed
small onions, peeled and cubed
green chillies chopped
(more if you want this more spicy hot)
3/4 cup
yellow lentils soaked overnight, washed and drained
(soak for at least 4 hours)
1 tbsp.
ginger paste
1 tbsp.
garlic paste
small bunch of coriander, chopped
1/2 tsp.
turmeric powder
1 tsp.
cumin powder
1 tsp.
coriander powder
2 tsp.
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup
of water
Extra Ingredients
2 tbsp.
channa/gram flour
1 tsp.
(or to taste)
1 tsp.
garam masala
(all spice)
2 tbsp.
chopped mint or coriander

Put all the first batch of ingredients (steak, potato, onion, lentils, chillies, spices, water) into a pressure cooker, cover and cook for about 20 mins.

Check if there is still any liquid left, you can put the pressure cooker (open) on the fire again and dry out any excess water. The mixture has to be dry enough that it just begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Let this mixture cool completely. (Sometimes I refrigerate this mixture overnight to cool completely and grind it the following day)

In a meat processor, grind the mixture to a smooth consistency. Turn it out in a bowl and add the second batch of ingredients:2 lightly beaten eggs, 2 tbsp. gram flour, 1 tsp salt and a 1 tsp of garam masala plus some freshly chopped coriander or mint if you like. Mix everything well. If you find the mixture a bit on the dry side, add one more egg (a little at a time) and mix until you find the consistency is workable...soft and slightly sticky. To check for salt, fry one tiny kabab and taste it. If it needs more salt/chilli, then this is the time to add it into the mixture.

Shape into palm sized circles and you can make an indent in the centre to prevent the kebabs from over-swelling when frying if you want. Some people like to dip the kababs in beaten egg prior to frying, to give them an egg coating. I personally prefer them with their lovely crisp exterior so I never dip them in egg.

Fry and serve hot with a spicy dip, some lemon slices and any accompaniments that you like.

Enjoy! :)




Asalaamalikum, what is dhana jeera? whole cumin seeds?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, a combination of powdered cumin seeds and powdered coriander seeds. Mixed in the ratio half to half.

salaam, great work...jazakallah.
when to add lemon juice?? if i add potatoes normal ones is it ok? i never saw red ones here. can i freeze them if i add potatoes??
thanks again.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you! Add the lemon juice with all the other ingredients in the pressure cooker. You can use whichever potatoes available to you and yes they freeze perfectly.

your are awesoome lovee u <3

Hello! I love your website :) I wanted to try this recipe but i don't have a pressure cooker or food processor. how long and at what heat level should i cook it on the stove. And can i use an immersion blender to turn the meat into a smooth consistency?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

I don't think an immersion blender will be sufficient to blend the meat as it is required to. You can use mince meat to avoid having to use the pressure cooker but still that would need to be then grinded again into a smooth consistency in order to shape the shamis.

Salaams,This looks yummy and very easy to prepare, can i shallow fry the kabbab or it has to be deep fried.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can shallow fry them, but deep frying gives better (crisp exterior) results.

Sallams fauzia, awesome work mashaAllah!! I
How many shami kababs can u make from this recipe?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you! This makes between 25-30 shami kababs depending on the size you shape them.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Best to use boneless chicken pieces instead of mince. Takes about an hour or so I guess, from start to finish.

how long is the cooking time and the preparation time? can i use mince chicken?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you and yes you can. You can either freeze the mixture, then just shape and fry when needed, or freeze the fried shamis and then heat before serving.

sallam hpoe you are fin dear., awesome work mashaAllah!! your recipes r too good? just want to ask you sister can we freeze .shami kabab and for how long.
thanks jazakallah

Aslm. Can I know what u meant by rump? So u meant that we cannot buy meat cubes, we have to buy steak? Am I right?
Thank you.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, rump steak is a type of meat cut. Works best with steak yes.

Asmlk your website is just too great. Do I have to roll the shamis in breadcrumbs before frying, thx & Regards

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you. If you want you can although I normally do not.

salams sister fauzia..
thank you once again for a wonderful recipe. I was wondering if i could use a food processor instead of a meat processor?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can use a food processor as long as it is strong enough to grind the meat.

How many we can make out of this whole mixture, please reply. Thank u.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Around 25 pieces depending on the size.

salaam...i loved this recipe but the batter was so sticky tht it was really hard to make kabobs...wat was wrong with it?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, did you dry the meat/potato mixture properly? If there was any extra liquid that would make them sticky.

Hi is this shallow fry or deep fry

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Deep fry.

Yellow lentils - toor dhal or chana dhal?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Channa daal.

nazreen thawoos's picture

hi fauzia.i don't eat potatoes so instead of that what else can i add into the kebabs please?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, just leave out the potatoes, they will still be awesome. :)


can you use gram flour instead of chana dhal? (because ground chana dhal is gram flour right? or have i got it mixed up with something else?)

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, do you mean when boiling the steak? Channa daal is the lentils, split yellow daal. Gram flour is added later on after grinding the mixture.

Al Salaam Alaikum, I really love your recipes. Is the water amount is only 1/4 of a cup for cooking the meat mixture?. Thanks

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, it normally is about enough to cook the meat mixture. But if you find the meat is still tough and you need to add a little more water, then do that. Just make sure to dry it off completely once the meat is cooked.

Salam! How can we measure 3/4 cups?thankyou

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, 3/4 means three-quarters. So just measure a quarter cup THREE TIMES.

I tried making this today, by sadly it turn out as expected. My mixture was was too soft and sticky making it impossible to shape. What do you do in this case?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Sorry to know your mixture turned out too soft. Did you make any alterations to the recipe? You can add some breadcrumbs and that will help absorb any excess moisture. Also, refrigerate the mixture to help stiffen it.