Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shami Kebabs (Minced Lamb Patties)

Day 2 of this week's blogging marathon and the second dish I chose as part of my Nawab Khana menu was a kebab. What an amazing creation! Ground meat and dal cooked with spices, ground again, more flavours added and then fried. I served mine with mint-coriander chutney.

I know not a lot of photos of this dish especially considering that it took me such a long time to prepare. In the end my dinner guests were waiting and I was hurriedly trying to get them into the pan to fry.

Shami Kebabs

1/3 cup channa dal or yellow split peas
450g minced lean lamb
10 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 3/4 in/2 cm cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 large egg
2 tbsp very finely chopped onion
1 tsp very finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp very finely chopped hot green chilli.
vegetable oil

To Make
1. Soak the dal in 1 cup of water for 2 hours.
2. Put the dal, the water it was soaking in and the minced lamb into a heavy based pan.
3. Add the cloves, peppercorn, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to very low and simmer gently for 1 hour.
4. Remove the lid and boil off any water, stirring constantly. The meat must be very dry.
5. Turn off the heat and allow the meat to cool.
6. Grind the meat in a food processor until it becomes a fine paste. No whole spices should be visible. Mix in the ginger and egg.

7. Put the contents from the food processor into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
8. Mix together the chopped onion, mint and green chillies.
9. Form smooth balls out of the meat paste. Take one ball at a time and make a deep depression in it with your thumb. Stuff a portion of the onion mint mixture into it and cover. Flatten the ball into a small patty.
10. Pour enough oil into a pan to cover the bottom to a depth of 1/2 cm and heat. Fry the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are slightly crisp and a medium brown colour.
11. Drain them on absorbent paper and serve.

from A Taste of India Madhur Jaffrey 1987 Pan Books.

Apparently hubby said I got the texture and flavour fairly right with these kebabs- slight mint taste, soft and crumbly. But thank goodness he also said he's not a huge fan of kebabs. They are so much work! For me personally I prefer cooking and eating dishes that have more vegetables in them.

Check out what my fellow bloggers are cooking here.


  1. Jane, that's one awesome recipe, sad you didn't have the final picture..would have been lovely to see it..:)..but what matters was you made such a complicated recipe and your guests loved it!..great job there..

  2. Love Shami kebab! Recipe looks delicious!

  3. Hey where are the kababs, am sure they got picked as soon as you made them, nice recipe

  4. these are my bro-in law makes one the best shami kebabs...I can enjoy them always!

  5. Kebabs are always my fav,shammi kebabs sounds delicious..

  6. Sounds definitely like a Nawabi recipe--I'm sure none of the nawabs had to work so hard to make them.. Must have tasted great.

  7. Anytime i search for a recipe, I make sure I add the terms 'simple' or 'easy' before it :D. Cant think of slaving in the kitchen for a long time!

    Hope the kebabs were worth the preparation time :)