Shami kebabs with coriander-mint chutney


I love kebabs, and its a pity we don’t get them as frequently as we did back home. We had this really nice tandoori restaurant near home and my dad would so often go pick up tandoori chicken, seekh kebabs, chicken tikka and the like from there. Even now when i go back home, he gets me the kebabs and it tastes just as nice, but i just haven’t had anything close to that here. I mean Tayyabs is good and so is Kadiri’s but they are so far away, and i miss those corner kebab places you find in abundance in India.

So the next best thing is to try and make your own. I have a few favourites that i have proudly mastered, like the Afghani murgh malai kebabs, the beef seekh kebabs and chicken tikka, and they make it to the table at most of my parties because they are so easy to make. Shami kebabs on the other hand is a bit difficult to make, i admit, but so frikking tasty and def up there on the kebab list. Like seriously melt-in-the-mouth types.

I had some friends over last weekend and I made these kebabs as starters and served them with a spicy coriander mint chutney, which i must say came out so well. The one time i previously made them, they were bitter…its a problem i always seem to face with coriander leaves when ground. I started putting it together with a plan b in mind, 99 percent sure it wasn’t going to turn out nice, but then, it just did…and i decided to post it here before i forgot the measurements.

The recipe is from Maya’s Yummy O Yummy, a blog i religiously follow for all my mallu recipes. She’s really got some amazing stuff up there so do drop by and check them out. 

Makes 25 to 30 small patties


Ground beef- 1/2 kg

Chana dal- 1/2 cup, rinsed

Ginger- 1 1/2 tsp, peeled and chopped

Garlic- 2 tsp, peeled and chopped

Onion- 1 cup, roughly chopped

Dried red chillies- 2

Salt- to taste

Water- 1/2 cup

To grind

Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds- 1 1/2 tsp

Whole peppercorns- 1 tsp

Cinnamon stick- 1/2 inch

Cardamom- 2 pods

Cloves- 4

Coriander leaves- 1/2 cup, washed and roughly chopped

Mint leaves- 25 (around 1/4 cup packed)
Onion- 1/2 cup, roughly hopped

Oil- enough to shallow fry the patties
Egg- 1, beaten


Into a pressure cooker throw in the ground beef, chana dal, ginger, garlic, onion, red chillies and salt.

Break the meat down, while mixing in the other ingredients as well.

Pour in the water and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or for around 2 to 3 whistles.

Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and add the ground mix.

If there is any water, put it back on medium-high heat and cook till the water completely evaporates, while stirring continuously.
Keep aside to cool.

Once cool, transfer the contents of the cooker into a food processor/ blender along with the coriander, mint leaves and onion and grind to a paste.
(I do not have a food processor and my spice mill is too small, I’d have to grind it multiple times, so i used my immersion blender which surprisingly worked fine. I think I’ve solved my minced meat dilemma for cutlets)


Transfer the ground meat to a large bowl and start making small lime size balls and flatten.
You can freeze the patties at this point and continue with the next step once you take them out of the freezer.
When ready to cook, heat oil in a pan, dip the patties in the egg and fry till brown on both sides.
Drain on paper towels and serve hot with the chutney.

Notes: The shami kebabs are traditionally made with ground mutton, but i went with beef. Feel free to use the exact measurement of ground lamb.
The kebabs weren’t spicy at all, and so i made the chutney a wee bit spicy, which worked well.

Coriander-mint chutney


Coriander leaves- 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
Mint leaves- 1/4 cup
Cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice- a generous dash
Green chilli- 1, chopped
Salt- to taste
Yoghurt- 2 heaped tbsp

Blend together all the ingredients, except yoghurt, in a food processor (I used my spice mill).
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the yoghurt.
Adjust seasoning if required.
The chutney stays in the refrigerator in an air tight container for about 5 days.

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