Shammi kebabs for Christmas snacking

December 18, 2006




shami-kebabs-small.jpgShami kebabs are nibbles just made for party snacking. And as it’s that time of the year, when we ditch our size zero diets and eat like pigs on speed what better than a super easy, super moreish kebab to tempt our overactive tastebuds?

I learnt how to make these on my recent trip to India. My friend Alka who hates cooking made these for me, which is really saying something. I then got the recipe off my mum’s red-lipstick and kaftan-wearing, chain-smoking friend Litu mashi over a cup of tea and three samosas. Size zero diet has not been going well for a while now…

Shami kebabs are from that staple house of Indian cooking known as Mughlai food. Handed down from the Moghal Emperors who ruled India yonks ago, it is a rich and luxurious style of muslim cooking ever-popular in India.

My recipe made about 12, which hubby and I went through in seconds. The best thing about these is that you can make them in advance and reheat in a microwave when ready to serve. Always have them hot though.

Makes 12:

250gms lean beef or chicken mince
Quarter cup chana lentils, soaked in cold water
Half tsp turmeric
Quarter tsp chilli powder
Half tsp garam masala
1 onion, chopped fine
1″ ginger, chopped roughly
1 large bay leaf
1″ cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamoms
1 green chilli
3 tsp flavourless oil
1 egg, beaten
1 cup hot water
Salt to taste

Soak the chana dhal for at least an hour before you start cooking. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil, and fry the onions, then ginger and all the whole spices (bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon).

When the onion starts going translucent, add the mincemeat, chana dhal and all the other masalas and the chopped green chilli, and stir viciously until the meat is brown all over.

Now add the water and boil until the chana is cooked (you will know when it’s soft and squidgy to taste) and the water completely evaporates.

Leave the mixture to cool slightly. Then add salt to taste and grind it in a food processor. Don’t worry if a few pieces of channa dal are whole, this will only add character to the kebabs.

Now take meatball size amounts and shape into flat discs. Heat the remaining two teaspoons of oil. Then dip each side of the kebabs in the beaten egg and shallow fry in batches until golden brown on either side.

These are great with mint chutney and tomato ketchup.



19 Responses to “Shammi kebabs for Christmas snacking”

  1. Swordsharp Says:

    June 25th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    @ Arti, “could not help but noticing’ Seriously, where did you get youe “english” from?

  2. Shella Says:

    February 13th, 2013 at 11:08 am

    It’s remarkable for me to have a web site, which is helpful in support of my know-how. thanks admin

  3. Anne Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing. This is very delicious testy recipe. maybe I`ll try it on next Tuesday. Thanks.

  4. Mallika Says:

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Hi Arti

    Thanks for your comment and suggestion. Funnily, my awful English wasn’t an issue with the major global publisher, who has recently signed me on to write a whole book.

    Also, it’s “correct your grammatical mistakes before publishing them” while we’re on the subject of writing.


  5. Arti Says:

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    You might be a cook Mallika but after reading a few of your recipes, I could not help but noticing that your English is very poor. If I were you, I’d hire an editor to correct all your grammatical mistakes before publishing it.

  6. GRAB THE GLASSES…THE KEBABS ARE HERE! | Travelling Secrets Says:

    January 25th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    […] these kebabs in them! Another gem of a recipe, adapted from this Shammi kebab recipe from Mallika @ Quick Indian Cooking. These have become a regular on the menu, & you can always find a box in my freezer. Kebabs […]

  7. Quick Indian Cooking » Eid Mubarak! Says:

    October 2nd, 2008 at 8:10 am

    […] India, I’d be celebrating with mounds of Goat Meat Biryani, Seviyan and Shammi Kebabs. Our Hindu family never missed an opportunity to celebrate in style, irrespective of the religion […]

  8. Quick Indian Cooking » Pretty perfect lentil bites Says:

    March 13th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    […] Okay, so I need to ditch vegetable kebabs in favour of vegetarian shammi kebabs. […]

  9. 1966 car mustang Says:

    November 9th, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    1966 car mustang…


  10. car insurance qoutes online Says:

    November 6th, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    car insurance qoutes online…


  11. Mallika Says:

    March 27th, 2007 at 3:44 am

    Hi 30in2005 – the trick with these is to really dry the meat and make sure all water is evaporated. Also, yes, small is beautiful with these.

    Good luck! They’ll be perfect next time don’t worry.


  12. 30in2005 Says:

    March 27th, 2007 at 3:09 am

    I made these last weekend and they were an absolute hit although they kept falling apart and were more shammi than kebabs! I think I amde each one too big to handle and didn’t let it all cool enough before making it into patties. I am aiming to try this again this friday.

  13. Meher Says:

    March 12th, 2007 at 6:15 am

    Hi Malika – you motivated me into blogging – blogging instead of working! What a great shami kabab recipe – Tayyabs only do them for Wednesday afternoon!

  14. Nidhi Says:

    December 28th, 2006 at 11:29 am

    Hey Mallika!

    I love those Shami Kebabs…We used to have them in India but, never tried it here. Will definitely try it now. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy New Year!

    Cheers, Nidhi.

  15. sandeepa Says:

    December 22nd, 2006 at 8:33 am

    Love these kebabs. Good you have the recipe right here, else everytime I make this I have to call up a North Indian friend of mine.

  16. spittoonextra Says:

    December 21st, 2006 at 1:18 am

    BritBlogs – The Foodie List December Update…

    With thanks to Jeanne for checking the list; here is the latest list of British Food Blogs. Not all the sites listed supply an RSS feed and a couple are not exclusively concerned with food. Please let me know if……

  17. Asha Says:

    December 19th, 2006 at 7:04 am

    Great looking dish there Mallika! Mouthwatering too.I have been baking cookies,cant stand the smell of sweets anymore!:)) Nice change to see these. thanks.

  18. Meena Says:

    December 18th, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    These look simply delicious!! A perfect treat for those late-night parties.

  19. Mangs Says:

    December 18th, 2006 at 11:16 am

    alka rocks. now for some vegetarian recipes….!

Leave a Reply


Join Mallika Basu's Mailing List