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Shami Kebabs can be served with paratha, rice or sometimes just enjoyed on its own as a snack with some chutney! I grew up eating these, and I absolutely love them. Shami kebabs are found all over India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, so you can assume that there are many different ways of making them. I am adding a recipe which has been made in my house for years.  This can take up to two hours to make, so make it on a day you are free. Hope you enjoy it!

Image of Shami kebab

Shami kebab


For the Kebab

1 kg Ground Beef/Lamb

¼ cup Gram Lentils (Chana Daal)

1 Onion, chopped into small pieces

4 Cardamoms

3 Cinnamon sticks

1 Bay leaf

2 Cloves

4 Red chilli pods

1 Tsp Ginger (minced)

1 Tsp Garlic (minced)

2 ½ Tsp Cumin powder

Salt to taste

For the filling:

2 Green Chilies

1 Tbsp lemon juice

½ Tsp lemon zest

1 Tsp mint leaf paste

1 large Egg

1 Tbsp Shredded Cheese

1 Tbsp Raisins

½ cup fried onions


Wash the ground meat and drain well. Soak the daal for half hour in water and drain well too.

In a saucepan, combine all the kebab ingredients together.

Mix well together, add 1 cup of water, and cover. Bring to a boil on high heat and then turn it down to medium.

image of Cooking the minced meat and daal

Cooking the minced meat and daal

Once the meat is cooked, the daal is soft and the liquid has evaporated, take the saucepan off the heat.

After the meat has cooled, put it through a food processor and set aside. (This can be made a couple of days ahead)

Whisk the egg in a bowl, add the lemon juice & zest with the prepared meat mixture and mix well together.

Divide the meat mixture into 20 equal part balls. (This step is optional as you can keep the mixture, and wait till the end and see how many patties it will make.)

Making the patties for kebab

Making the patties for kebab

Now prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients together, except for the fried onions. (You can add this part to a food processor, it makes it easier for filling, I did not do it this time)

Image of Adding the filling to the kebab

Adding the filling to the kebab

Take one of the meat balls, make a hole in it. Add some of the fried onions and top with the rest of the filling. Then flatten it to make a round patty. Repeat with the rest.

In a griddle pan and fry them gently with a little oil (my style). Or deep fry them, as most people do.

Image of Frying kebabs