Shami Kebabs
4-6
servings
Main
Course
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
Ingredients
1 lb
boneless beef chuck, trimmed and roughly diced
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c
yellow split peas, soaked overnight
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4
garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
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1
inch ginger knob, peeled and finely diced
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1
red onion, roughly chopped, plus ½ red onion, finely diced
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2
inch cinnamon stick
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2
black cardamom pods
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5
dried round whole red peppers, available at Indian/Pakistani specialty stores
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1 tsp
kosher salt
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1
slice white bread, wet lightly under a splash of water
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1
egg, beaten
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½ tsp
garam masala
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1 tbsp
cilantro, finely diced
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1
Thai green chile, finely diced
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“Kebab” is a misnomer for this silky, fried beef patty that is served as a side at a Pakistani dawat (feast), or as a snack with tea. Boneless beef chuck and yellow split peas are boiled and minced with a simple spice blend that infuses a gentle, balanced flavor. Finely chopped cilantro, green chile, and red onion add a layer of texture, and pan-frying reinforces the kebab’s delicate structure. The end result is a versatile fried delight that can be slapped on bread, had with rice and curry, or on its own with the subcontinent’s favorite condiment, Maggi Sauce.

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, add all ingredients up until the white bread (with the exception of ½ finely diced red onion) and four cups of water, and bring to a boil. Drop heat to medium-low to a simmer and cook until the water disappears and the lentils are fall-apart soft, about 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, fold the bread into the beaten egg. Add garam masala, diced cilantro, chile, and red onion. Set aside.
  3. Once the meat and lentils are ready, remove the cardamom and cinnamon with a slotted spoon. Place the mixture in a food processor and mince till the mixture has an even consistency and you cannot tell the lentils and meat apart.
  4. Add minced meat to the bread-egg mixture. Mix well until an even consistency is achieved.
  5. Take small fistfuls of the mixture and flatten them into slim patties.
  6. Heat oil in a shallow nonstick frying pan. Begin to fry patties, about 1½ minutes each side, till they are deep brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  7. To freeze: Carefully place the raw patties inside Tupperware, and store in the freezer for up to one month. My mother recommends placing them on a tray and freezing them first, and then transferring them to Tupperware or a Ziploc bag.

Maryam Jillani

Maryam Jillani was TASTE's Cook In Residence, and the founder of Pakistan Eats.

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