Shami Kabab

Kababs are a specialty of the middle-eastern region. It is said to have originated in Turkey. Grilled meat dishes are often referred to as kababs. There is one city in India that is almost synonymous with kababs – Lucknow. Lucknow is often referred to as the city of Nawabs and Kababs.

Shami Kabab is a type of almost melt-in-the-mouth kabab, similar to Galouti Kabab. It used bengal gram or chana dal as it’s binding agent and is flavoured with whole spices which is cooked together with the meat so that flavours are well-infused. The meat and gram can be slow-cooked with the spices which probably results in the best flavours. But an easy and quick way is to either pressure cook it or use minced meat. Both these definitely cut down on the cooking time.

I have used minced meat in my recipe today and cooking it in a kadai. However, if you have meat pieces, then you can cook it all together in the pressure cooker. And then go ahead with the remaining process as mentioned in the recipe card/video.

Shami Kabab

Course: StartersCuisine: Middle EasternDifficulty: Moderate


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



A delicious melt-in-the-mouth Kabab


  • Ghee – 1-2 tbsp

  • Onion – 1 medium, sliced thin

  • Garlic – 1-2 cloves, chopped

  • Ginger – 1/4 inch piece, chopped

  • Black Cardamom – 1, seeds only

  • Green Cardamom – 1

  • Peppercorns – 3-4

  • Dry Red Chillies – 1, broken

  • Cloves – 2

  • Bay Leaves – 1

  • Cinnamon – 1/2-inch stick

  • Mutton – 250 gms, mince or chopped into small pieces

  • Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) – 1/4 cup, soaked overnight

  • Water – 2 tbsp

  • Salt – 3/4 tsp (adjust as per taste)

  • Onion – 1 small, chopped fine

  • Green Chilli – 1, chopped fine

  • Mint Leaves – A few leaves, chopped fine

  • Coriander Leaves – A few leaves, chopped fine

  • Lemon Juice – 1/2 tbsp (adjust as per taste)


  • Add half the ghee in a kadai or a pressure cooker.
  • Once hot, add the onions, garlic, ginger and all the whole spices – black and green cardamom, peppercorns, dry red chilli, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon – and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Next, add the mutton to this and cook it for a few minutes.
  • If using mutton mince, you can pressure cook the chana dal earlier and then cook everything in a kadai. If using mutton pieces, then the chana dal can be pressure cooked along with the mutton in a pressure cooker. Cooking mutton pieces in a kadai will take longer.
  • Once the mutton mince is cooked for a few minutes, add the cooked chana dal and stir well.
  • Add salt and water and cover it and cook till the mutton is cooked through. Keep stirring in between.
  • Once the mutton is cooked, cook it uncovered till most of the water is evaporated. Let this mixture cool down.
  • Once it cools, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon (if sticks are bigger) and then put the mutton mix into a mixie jar and grind it well to a smooth paste.
  • To this, add the finely chopped onion, green chilli, mint leaves and coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Finally add the lemon juice as per taste and adjust for salt, if needed, and the kabab mix is ready.
  • Shape these into medium size balls and flatten a little.
  • Add the remaining ghee to a pan and shallow fry the kababs on low to medium heat carefully. These are very soft so be careful while flipping.
  • Both sides should be a golden-brown color. Once done, remove it from heat and serve with a side of some mint chutney.

Recipe Video

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