• Prep time

    5 minutes
  • Cook time

    45 minutes
  • Total time

    1 hour

Shami Kebab is a small patty of meat with lentils, egg to hold it together, and spices. It’s eaten as a snack or an appetizer. Every home in India / Pakistan has their own recipe of Shami Kebab, i use my mom’s version which I think is the best 🙂 You can eat in a sandwich, or my favorite way with rice and khatti daal (sour lentils), or just on their own. Shami kebabs need a bit of patience to prepare but the reward is that you will always have something protein based in your freezer, ready within a few minutes when you are too tired to cook or have unexpected company.

I always keep a few dozen Shami’s in my freezer, they freeze well and can be defrosted and shallow fried on low heat.


2 lbs boneless beef preferably chuck roast
2 medium potatoes – peeled and chopped
1 cup split benagal gram – soaked in cold water for about an hour
3-4 whole dried red chilies
1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1 tsp. garam masala ( Indian all spice blend) powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
salt as per taste
1 lemon
2 green chilies roughly chopped
handful coriander or mint leaves – chopped
2 eggs – lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
vegetable oil for shallow frying
2 cups water
2 tbsp. channa/gram flour


Directions :

1. Drain the split peas and put them aside
2. Place the meat, potatoes, bengal gram, garam masala, dried red chilies, salt and turmeric powder in a pan and cook covered till the meat is tender enough to be able to shred with fork. Check if there is still any liquid left, make sure to dry out any excess water. The mixture has to be dry enough that it just begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Let this mixture cool completely.
4. Using a fork or your hand mash the mixture, you can use a meat processor but i like it when i can feel bits and pieces of meat.
5. Now add eggs, gram flour, 1 tsp salt, some freshly chopped coriander or mint leaves and lemon juice. Mix everything well. If you find the mixture a bit on the dry side, add one more egg (a little at a time) and mix until you find the consistency is workable…soft and slightly sticky. To check for salt, fry one tiny kabab and taste it. If it needs more salt/chilli, then this is the time to add it into the mixture.
6. Shape into palm sized circles and you can make an indent in the centre to prevent the kebabs from over-swelling when frying .

Fry and serve hot on its own or accompanied with khatti daal.