Shami Kebabs

Shami kababs

Today’s recipe is from one of my dear friends – my neighbor and a wonderful cook Zahera Ummat! People who live here in the U.S might know what I mean if I say that, I got friendly with my neighbors just recently i.e. from the time spring season is on! Although we moved to our new home in November, I couldn’t meet my neighbors as it was winter then. πŸ™‚ I had to wait till April for that. Yes, it is true that seasons play a huge role in the lives of people here. Zahera lives just two doors next to ours, and she is a Bengali Muslim, who is very passionate about cooking good food. Maybe it is this love for food that brought us close. Anyways, we regularly meet nowadays for tea or lunch, at her place or mine, and talk about food in the main, and of course gossip a bit too!

Zahera is a Bengali but her mother is from Uttar Pradesh and her husband is from Orissa. So she makes a lot of variety food, recipes gathered from all these places, and she is very happy to share her recipes too. What a lucky lady I am !
I have now learnt to cook karahi chicken, Bengali begun bhaja, Bengali fish curry, haleem, bhuna gosht and lots of other muslim delicacies. And I am going to share them here one by one, starting with Shami kebabs.

Shami kebabs are a part of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine. It is made of minced beef/mutton, chana dal and spices. They can be served with rice/ roti or as a snack along with mint raita. It is really drool worthy as the kebabs just melts in your mouth! They also  freeze very well and can be stored up to 2 – 3 months in the freezer. Try it and satisfaction is guaranteed!

Ingredients (Makes 25 kebabs)

1. Minced meat (beef or lamb) – 1/2 kg (I used ground beef)

    Chana dal – 1/2 cup, rinsed

    Ginger – 1/2 inch, roughly chopped

    Garlic – 5 – 6 large cloves, roughly chopped

    Onion – 1 cup, roughly chopped

    Dried red chilies – 2

    Salt – To taste

    Water – 1/4 – 1/2 cup

2. Lemon juice – 1.5 tsp

3.  Egg  – 1 – 2

To grind

4. Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp, heaped

   Cumin seeds – 1.5 tsp

   Whole pepper corns – 1 tsp

   Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch

   Cloves – 5

   Black cardamom – 1

For the hara masala

5. Cilantro – 1/2 cup, roughly chopped

    Mint leaves – 20 – 25

   Green chilies – 1 – 2, chopped

   Onion / spring onion – 1/2 cup, roughly chopped


1. Add in the ground meat and all other ingredients numbered 1 in a pressure cooker. Mix well and pressure-cook for 2 – 3 whistles. Open the cooker after the pressure releases. Add the ground garam masala powder (ingredients numbered 4, powdered). Mix well and cook over medium heat while stirring often until the water completely evaporates. Set aside to cool.

2. When the mixture is cooled, transfer it to a food processor / large jar of a mixie. Add the chopped cilantro, mint leaves, green chilies, 1/2 cup onion and 1.5 tsp lemon juice. Grind to a fine mixture. Transfer it back to the pressure cooker. Roll the mixture into lemon-sized balls and flatten. (If the kebabs break while shaping or frying, add some mashed potatoes and mix well).

3. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Dip both sides of the kebabs in beaten egg and shallow fry in batches until browned on both sides. Serve with chapathi / naan / rice/ mint raita etc.

Recipe Courtesy – Zahera Ummat


Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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