When it comes to food on the table, many people love their meaty options.
But if you’re looking for something lighter that still has plenty of flavor, then maybe a shami kabab is what you need.
In this article we will cover everything you need to know about shami kababs including how they are prepared, the ingredients used, and even some delicious recipes to try out!
What Is A Shami Kabab?
Shami Kababs (or Shammi Kabobs) are typically made from minced or chopped meats like chicken, mutton, or beef mixed into a paste which is shaped into small patties and grilled over hot coals or flames.
If you want to make your own shami kabab recipe at home, check out these easy homemade kabob recipes.
The word “kabab” is derived from the Persian word “Kabbāb,” meaning “chopped up.” This name came from the fact that during cooking, the meat was cut into cubes before being cooked.
It can also be referred to as a kebab because of its shape.
They are often served with onion raita (a traditional Punjabi side), naan bread, butter, and garlic sauce.
The flavors are bold and spicy, making them perfect for those who enjoy both sweet and savory foods.
You can find them all around Pakistan, but especially in Punjab province.
One of the most famous places where you can get them is the city of Lahore.
You might have tasted them there already and thought they were amazing.
But did you know that not only do they taste great, they are also healthy? In addition to having lots of protein, vitamins, and minerals, they contain no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.
That means they’ll help you stay lean while keeping your heart safe.
And if you’d rather eat vegetarian versions of shami kabab, here are some tasty vegan shami kabab recipes to try out.
How are shami kababs made?
First, you’ll need to combine the different types of meats together until they form a uniform mass.
Next, add salt, pepper, ginger powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander seeds, cloves, onions, tomatoes, chili powder, sugar, garam masala, and black cardamom pods.
Once everything is combined, you should mix well so that the spices aren’t too thick.
Then take a tablespoon of flour and stir in slowly so that you don’t burn yourself when mixing.
Finally, use your hands to knead the mixture into a ball.
If you’ve done everything right, it shouldn’t be sticky at all.
Now, you can start shaping the balls into whatever shapes you prefer.
I recommend using a cookie cutter to keep things consistent, but you could easily just roll the dough into logs and slice them once finished.
When choosing your size, consider the number of servings you plan to prepare.
For instance, a single serving would likely be less than half a kilogram (about 1 pound).
After you’ve formed the desired shape, place the patty onto a tray lined with aluminum foil.
Now simply grill each piece until it turns golden brown on one side and begins to crisp up.
If you are planning to cook more than one, remember to turn them after about five minutes to prevent burning.
Once you flip them, let them sit on the other side for another 5-10 minutes and repeat the process again.
Repeat this whole process until you finish all of your pieces.
To serve, put a dollop of onion raita between two pieces of naan bread and top with some fresh mint leaves, lime juice, and hot sauce.
What Are The Ingredients In A Shami Kabab?
A shami kabab is a traditional dish from Pakistan but can be found all over India too.
The name “kabab” means minced meat in Urdu (the language spoken by Muslims).
The most common meats used in them are chicken and mutton, though other animals such as goat and buffalo have also been added into the mix.
The key ingredient in any shami kabab is chana dal, which is a type of lentil.
It is commonly referred to as chickpeas because of its shape.
These legumes are soaked overnight before cooking so they get softer and more digestible when cooked.
This is one step where Indian influence comes into play since there isn’t much water content in these beans unlike their Western counterparts.
There are several different types of chana dal available throughout the world, each with slightly different characteristics depending on the region they are grown in.
You may find masoor dal, red lentils, or yellow split peas in your local grocery store.
Other than the regular chana dal, there are quite a few other ingredients that go into making a shami kabab.
Some common ones include ginger powder, garlic powder, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg.
All of these help lend a unique taste to the dish while adding complexity to the overall balance of flavors.
How Do You Make A Shami Kabab?
A shami kabab is a traditional Pakistani dish consisting of chunks of seasoned minced meat wrapped up into patties.
These savory snacks have been around since at least the early 1900s when they were first introduced by Indian immigrants who settled in Pakistan after migrating from India during the British rule.
The word “kabab” means burger in Urdu, which makes sense because these mini-burgers look like little burgers.
These tasty tidbits are traditionally cooked over coals using charcoal, but today there are also gas grills available that can be used instead.
If you want to cook your own version of shami kababs, here’s our guide on how to grill them perfectly.
However, before you start cooking your own versions of these tiny burgers, let’s take a closer look at how the original ones are made so that you can replicate them too.
The key ingredient in any good shami kabab is the meat itself.
There are two types of meats commonly used in making these mini burgers – chicken and mutton (mutton being the most common).
In addition to the meat, other flavors such as onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander seeds, chili powder, black pepper, salt, and vinegar are added to give each batch its unique taste.
Other than the basic ingredients, there are several steps involved in creating these snackable treats.
First, the meat needs to be cleaned and cut into small pieces.
Then, the meat mixture is formed into balls with either hands or fingers, depending on the size of the ball you wish to create.
Next, the balls are rolled in flour, egg wash, bread crumbs, and finally fried until golden brown.
Once done, you can serve these mini burgers hot off the stove or cool down and store them in the fridge for later use.
What Is The History Of The Shami Kabab?
Shami Kabab is a very famous traditional cuisine in Pakistan and India which is mostly eaten during Ramadan.
It originates from the Muslim regions of Punjab region and Kashmir.
The name itself means “grounded” in Urdu language because the meat grinds into small pieces while cooking.
It can be cooked either by roasting or frying method.
The most famous way to cook them is through grilling but when I first tasted it was fried.
There are two different types of shami kababs depending on the type of meat used.
One version uses mutton (lamb) and another one uses beef.
In general, both versions have the same ingredients, but the taste differs according to the kind of meat being used.
The basic ingredient of the shami kabab includes minced meat, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili peppers, coriander leaves, cumin powder, salt, pepper, turmeric, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, rose water, yogurt, and saffron.
These days, there is no specific time where these dishes should be prepared, however, traditionally, they were consumed at night before bedtime so that the stomach would rest.
Ingredients and preparation methods
- Minced lamb/beef
- Green chili peppers
- Coriander leaves
- Cardamom seeds
- Cinnamon stick
- Add all the seasoning ingredients except the yogurt and saffron to the minced meat.
- Mix well until fully combined.
- Take a big bowl and add 2-4 tablespoons of plain yogurt and saffron strands. Mix thoroughly.
- Now take 1 teaspoon each of oil and ghee separately and mix it with the yogurt mixture.
- Keep mixing until the whole thing becomes light and fluffy.
- Once done, keep aside and let cool completely.
- You can now use a flat pan or a nonstick skillet to prepare your grilled shami kabab. You can also put it under the broiler if you don’t want to grill it.
- Grill it over medium heat until it turns golden brown.
Where Did The Shami Kabab Originate?
The word “kabab” literally means cubed in Urdu, which is where the name originates from.
Shami kababs are also known as kebab saag (KSAG) because they use shredded spinach instead of minced vegetables like other kababs do.
Shami kababs were originally created by the Mughals who conquered most of South Asia during the 16th century.
When the British took over India after defeating the Moguls, they brought these dishes back to England with them.
These days, shami kabobs are enjoyed around the world and can be found at restaurants all across the globe.
There are two major types of shami kababs.
The first type uses chicken and the second one uses mutton.
There are also variations of each depending on region.
For example, in Pakistan, there is a popular version called qandah-e-shami (qanda means sliced and shami means chopped).
This variation includes pieces of fried bread along with the meat.
It tastes great when paired with tikka dip.
You may have heard people say that shami kababs originated in Egypt but that’s not true either.
In fact, it was invented in Iran.
Mutton shami kabab recipe
- 1 pound boneless leg of lamb or 1/4 cow’s tongue
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
1. Wash the lamb thoroughly under running water before chopping into small cubes.
2. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add oil. Once the oil becomes hot, add cumin seeds followed by the onions.
3. Fry until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add garlic and ginger to the same pan. Sauté until fragrant and aromatic.
5. Return onions to the pan and continue frying until soft and translucent.
6. Now add coriander powder, turmeric, and paprika to the pan. Continue cooking for another minute.
7. Mix well and let cool completely before adding to the bowl of your chopper.
8. Chop up the cooked lamb using a knife and fork. Place the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes.
9. Take out of refrigerator and chop again. Put in a mixing bowl and combine well with the onion mixture. Make sure the mix is evenly distributed throughout the bowl.
10. Shape the meatballs into bite sized balls and place in freezer bag.
11. Freeze the meatballs overnight so they firm up. After freezing, remove from freezer and store in Ziploc bags.
12. To cook the shami kababs, take out frozen meatballs and place in a pot of boiling water. Cook 5 minutes per side. Drain the fat from the top and serve warm.
Chicken shami kabab recipe
·½ cup yogurt
·¼ cup lemon juice
·1 green bell pepper
·1 teaspoon garam masala powder
·1 teaspoon coriander powder
·1 teaspoon chilli powder
·1 teaspoon turmeric
·Salt to taste
·½ cup olive oil
1. Boil chicken breast in salted water for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool down.
2. Finely dice the tomatoes and peel the onion. Dice the carrots and peppers too.
3. Combine all ingredients except for the chicken, oil, and seasoning together in a large bowl. Using hands, mix well to distribute the seasonings evenly amongst the veggies.
4. Add diced chicken to the vegetable mixture and stir gently to coat every piece with the marinade.
5. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Pour the oil over the entire surface of the chicken and marinated veggies.
6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.
What Are Some Different Ways To Make A Shami Kabab?
Shami Kabab, also known as Shamai Kabab, are a common part of Pakistan cuisine.
The name “kabab” means “meatball” in Urdu.
These balls are traditionally made from ground lamb (or sometimes beef), along with other ingredients such as onions, garlic, cilantro leaves, tomato sauce, green chili peppers, ginger, coriander seeds, and fresh mint leaves.
There can be many variations to the recipe depending on your preference and availability of ingredients.
The most traditional way to prepare these shami kababs is to first boil them until tender, then let them cool down before frying them up.
This method keeps the kabab soft enough so that when you bite into one, the texture doesn’t change too much.
But there are quite a few ways to serve these tasty treats outside of the traditional boiling process.
For example, you can fry them up right away without cooking the kabab at all.
Or, you can marinate them overnight in yogurt, which makes them extra moist and flavorful.
Once you have mastered this classic recipe, you can experiment by adding more flavors to suit your taste buds.
You may want to add some curry powder, garam masala, saffron threads, salt, pepper, or rose water to the mix.
If you’d like to keep things simple, just use plain seasoning instead.
What Are Some Popular Shami Kabab Recipes?
Shami Kabab Recipe #1 – Spicy Lamb Shami Kabab (Vegan)
- Ingredients: 1/3 cup Basmati rice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, 6 green cardamom pods, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 4 whole bay leaves, 1 teaspoon black pepper powder, salt to taste, ½ pound lean ground lamb, ¼ cup finely chopped onion, ¼ cup finely chopped carrot, ¼ cup finely chopped potato, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon minced chili paste, ½ cup plain yogurt, ⅓ cup fresh coriander, and ¼ cup mint leaves.
Step-by-step instructions: Add all dry ingredients to bowl, except for the yogurt and mint leaves.
Mix well until combined.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add half of the mixture, and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Repeat step two times, adding remaining mixture to the same pan each time.
After the third round, return the first batch of cooked mixture back to the pan, add yogurt, and stir in along with the mint leaves.
Spicy Lamb Shami Kabab Recipe #2 – Easy Lamb Shami Kabab (Meatless) [Broken URL Removed]
- Ingredients: 1 cup basmati rice, 1/4 cup chickpea flour, 2 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon turmeric, pinch of saffron threads, 1 large tomato, 1 small onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 inch piece ginger root, ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes, 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, water to mix.
Step-by-step instructions: In a saucepan, bring salted water to boil.
Once boiling, add basmati rice and cook for 10 minutes.
Drain excess water and transfer rice into a mixing bowl.
Let cool slightly before stirring in rest of ingredients.
Shape into patties and bake at 350 °F for 15 minutes.
Easy Lamb Shami Kabab Recipe #3 – Tandoori Spiced Lamb Kebabs (Traditional Meat) [Broken URL Removed]
- Ingredients: 1 pound boneless leg of lamb, cut into cubes, ¾ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1½ cups plain bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon canola oil, zest of 1 lime, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons dried oregano.
Step-by-step instructions: Cut lamb into bite-sized pieces.
Transfer to a shallow baking sheet and season with 2 teaspoons salt.
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, combine yogurt, herbs, and spices in a shallow container.
Roll lamb in breadcrumb mixture to coat evenly.
Preheat oven to 400 °F.
Place breaded lamb onto a wire rack placed atop a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 375 °F and continue cooking for another 8 minutes.
Cool completely and enjoy!
Tandoori Spiced Lamb Kebabs Recipe #4 – Shami Kabab – Indian Style (Indian Food)
- Ingredients: 1 pound ground lamb, ½ teaspoon ground caraway seed, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground mace, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground fennel seed, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin seed, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground mustard, ¼ teaspoon ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon ground green cardamom, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, ¼ teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons butter, 1¼ cup diced onions, 1¼ cup diced carrots, 1¼ cup diced celery, 1¼ cup diced potatoes, and 1¼ cup diced tomatoes.
Step-by-step instructions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead gently without breaking up the meat.
Divide into equal portions, shape into flat disks approximately 1″ thick and press down firmly.
Wrap tightly and place on a rack over foil.
Cook in a preheated 450° F oven for 35–40 minutes or until browned.
How Do You Serve A Shami Kabab?
Shami Kabab is typically served in small plates or bowls.
This allows each person at your dinner party to take one bite of the tasty little morsels before moving onto the next thing.
You can also choose to have them as part of a larger meal.
You can find these little snacks all over Pakistan, India, and other countries where there is a large Muslim population.
If you want to make your own version, here is a great recipe from The Kitchn.
It includes all of the basic ingredients needed like onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, chili powder, coriander, garam masala, mint leaves, salt, and pepper.
These are mixed together to create a paste which is later added to the mixture of ground mutton/beef along with water and yogurt.
Once cooked, the balls are left whole until ready to eat.
A bowl full of these treats is enough to satisfy anyone who wants more than just one mouthful.
And because they are so easy to prepare, everyone can join in on making them.
Just keep in mind that these bites should be eaten quickly since they don’t last long once they hit your tongue.
What Are Some Common Side Dishes To Serve With A Shami Kabab?
The main attraction here is the shami kabab itself, which can be enjoyed alone or combined with other items like rice, naan breads, pickles, yogurt, and more.
The following are all great accompaniments to your meal:
- Pickled onions – These sweet-and-tangy pickles go well with any spicy dish and are also good when eaten alongside a shami kabab.
- Naans – You may have already tried one of these flatbreads at a restaurant but there are so many different varieties to choose from. Try them all!
- Yogurt – This tangy dairy product goes perfectly with most meals, especially those containing hot peppers. If you want to make sure you get every last bit of flavor, buy Greek style yogurt instead of regular plain yogurts.
- Cucumber – Add slices of cucumbers to your plate to cut down on the bite size of your favorite kebabs. It adds moisture and freshness to the overall taste experience.
If you don’t have time to prepare anything else before eating, consider putting together raita.
Raitas are often served in Pakistan along with a variety of curries.
Since they consist mainly of water and vegetables, they provide a refreshing addition to your meal after a long day of work.
To make raitas, combine equal parts of grated cucumber, shredded cabbage, chopped onion, and mint leaves into a bowl.
Then add salt, vinegar, and lemon juice.
Once mixed thoroughly, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Shami Kabab?
If you want your shami kababs to be absolutely delicious, here are a few things you should keep in mind when preparing them:
- The best way to cook shami kababs is by grilling them over charcoal fire. You can also use a barbecue grill but make sure to place the skewers vertically instead of horizontally because that makes them easier to flip over once cooked.
- You should season your shami kababs before cooking them so that all the flavors come together nicely.
- Don’t forget to add more oil than usual while cooking them. This helps prevent burning.
- Make sure not to overcook your shami kababs since they have delicate flesh. If you do overcook them, then it would affect the taste of the entire meal.
- Also remember that different types of meats may require different amounts of time to cook. So always check the package instructions before starting to cook.
- Shami kababs are traditionally served hot right after being grilled. However, there are times where you might prefer eating them cold. To reheat, simply put them back into the oven until warmed through.
How does a shami kabab differ from other kebabs?
Kebabs are typically flat pieces of meat that are skewered onto sticks and roasted over a flame.
Shami kababs are very similar to kebabs but they are slightly curved.
In addition, shami kababs tend to be larger compared to kebabs due to the fact that they contain less amount of meat per serving.
- 1 Cup chana dal
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 8 Cloves
- 8 nos black peppercorns
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp ajwain
- 3 nos red chilli whole
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 500 gms boneless chicken
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp ginger finely chopped
- 2 Green chilli
- 2 tsp garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves chopped
- 1/2 cup mint leaves chopped
- 2 Egg
- Chana dal should be soaked for at least 30 minutes.
- Cumin seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, coriander seeds, ajwain, red chili, and chilli flakes are added to heated oil in a pressure cooker. For 1-2 minutes, saute.
- Now incorporate the soaking chana dal completely.
- Add salt and the boneless chicken. Add the necessary amount of water and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until the chicken is cooked and all the water has gone.
- After allowing it to cool for a while, blend all the ingredients into a thick paste.
- Ginger, green chili, garlic, coriander, and mint leaves should all be added to the mixture. The components should be thoroughly combined.
- Add the liquid from the raw eggs and thoroughly combine.
- Make the kebabs with your palm in any size and form you like, usually in a flat, round shape.
- Now lightly fried the kebabs on both sides till golden brown after dipping in egg liquid.
- The kebabs can be served hot with any chutney of your choosing.
- Shami Kebab of Chicken