Time to share the most hearty, most satisfying Pakistani kabab, one and only SHAMI KABAB. These kebab are delicious fried petty that allow a load of room for variations and creativity.
Updated: 1 Nov 2020 (Recipe was updated with new photos and minor changes in method.)
They are immensely popular and easy to make kabab. As these kabab have cooked meat so you can store them for longer period. Almost every Pakistani mom makes it in Ramadan and Bakra Eid and few families keep endless supplies of frozen Shami kabab to serve the unexpected guest, and for teatime snack.
Shami kabab is mainly made of beef, split chickpea, eggs, herbs, and loads of spices. All ingredients are grounded together to form a dough-like mixture from which small kababs are rolled out. The kababs are then dipped in egg wash and shallow fried. We love these kabab because these are
- Healthy, room temperature kabab can be baked too at 350 F for 15 minutes until thoroughly heated and golden. Flip kabab halfway.
- Picnic and Travel-friendly, store cooked kabab in a food bag with ice cube packs (Ice Cubes kept in zipper bags). Replace ice cubes when fully melted.
What to eat with shami kebab?
This Pakistani Shami kababs are handy in the morning for quick-lunch preps. You can use kebab in
- They can be used in making as Tikki for a Shami bun kabab.
- Use them as a patty in sandwiches.
- Pair it with all sorts of flatbreads like roti and naan.
- Just pair it with any sort of spicy chutney, dips, and sauce and they are killer delicious.
- Tastes great with a fresh salad like onion, cucumber, and tomato slices.
Tip to make best Shami Kebab
Shami Kabab Masala: When I first posted this recipe, I used whole spices, that are quick to use but grinding cooked spices with beef and lentil mixture is difficult and some spices would still linger in the kabab. Biting into a whole is really a nuisance to kids and hubby. So I tried grounding spices beforehand and using the shami kabab masala. Works perfectly! You can always and triple masala recipe and store extra for next time in fridge.
Meat for Shami kabab: Meat is crucial in making "reshay walay" shami kabab. Use tough stewing beef like beef chunk, beef roast or beef shank. other meat option are boneless mutton or chicken breast.
Ground beef or and boneless beef: Shami can be made either with ground beef or boneless beef. I'm using boneless beef that is more traditionally used and gives the perfect threaded texture. But you need to ground meat in a chopper after cooking which is an extra step but totally worth the texture.
You can use ground beef (keema) too but you'll miss the thread (resha). If using ground beef then you can simply mash the mixture with a potato masher until it is uniform. Drying excess water is crucial with ground beef to form kabab.
Large Batch: Usually, Shami is made in large batches, I highly recommend doubling and tripling recipe as these take some time to make and freezing extra kabab.
Trouble Shooting and FAQ
How to fix shami kabab?
If the kabab mixture is too wet and soft to roll. Spread hot kabab mixture in a large tray and place under the fan and let it dry naturally. Lots of water will evaporate naturally. Incase the kabab mixture is still wet then add 1-2 tablespoon bread crumbs.
If Shami kabab mixture is hard and dry, add extra mashed potato or/and 1 egg for softer kabab. For very soft and melt in mouth Shami kabab then reduce beef to 300 gram and increase ½ cup split chickpea in the recipe. This will make less meaty but equally tasty and budget-friendly kabab.
How to freeze shami kabab?
Freeze kabab in a single layer a tray. Or you can place a cling wrap or butter paper and place a second layer over it. When kabab are rock-solid place in a zipper bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
How to fry frozen kabab?
Ideally, thaw kabab for 15 minutes on the counter so they do not rock-solid when they hit the oil. Since Shami kababs are cooked so you just need golden outside and heated inside. Deep fry shami kabab on low heat until golden and thoroughly heated. If you fry on high heat kabab will be golden from outside and chill cold inside, so avoid it. One visual sign to know that kababs are heated thoroughly is that the middle coating of kabab should be golden like outer and doesn't appear raw.
Deep frying is recommended for frozen kabab as shallow frying can cause the kabab to break. If incase kabab are still cold after frying, you can microwave for 30 seconds to heat the centre core.
How to make Pakistani Shami Kabab Recipe
- Roast whole spices on medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. (I'm using 10 spices to make Shami kabab masala, but most of them are common. If you can't find 1-2 spices like fenugreek and black cumin. Just skip it.)
- Then grind roasted spice finely in a coffee grinder. Shami Kabab masala or spice mix is ready. You can do this step a few days ahead too. Or order your spice mix here.
- Take meat cubes, soaked split chickpeas, ginger, garlic, green chili, Shami kabab spice mix, turmeric, potato, mint leaves, oil, and one cup water in pot. Water should be enough to cover the meat completely. Bring meat to boil then reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes on medium-low heat. Cover the pot tightly. (You can also pressure cook for 20 minutes.)
- Cook meat thoroughly, that is bite the boti after cooking to make sure it fully cooked and tender. Dry out water completely. You can burn water or high flame with constant stirring if needed. Lentil should be super soft and mushy.
- Let the mixture cool then grind in a chopper.
- Add mint, fresh coriander, boiled eggs, a beaten egg, and chopped onion. Mix well.
- Add chat masala and salt to taste. Do a taste test and adjust as needed.
- Shami mixture is ready. Chilling kabab mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes helps in easy rolling.
Roll Shami Kabab
- Roll out a small ball of kabab. Grease your hands with little cooking oil if needed.
- Shape the kabab into a small patty. You can make oblong shape too.
- At this stage, you can freeze kabab. You read freezing and frying frozen kabab instruction in the FAQ section.
- Method 1: Beat three eggs with salt and red chili powder. Dip each Kabab in egg wash then shallow fry. Flip kabab and fry evenly until thoroughly heated and golden from all sides.
- Method 2: For frozen and extra crispy Shami kabab, I recommend dipping these in egg wash and coat with bread crumbs.
- Repeat the same steps with all kababs. Your Shami kabab are ready to freeze or fry.
- If kabab are at room temperature shallow fry, if frozen deep frying is recommended. Serve with green chutney and fresh salad.
Hungry for more kebab? Check these!
My Recipe Collections!
Shami Kabab Recipe
Shami kabab Spice Mix Recipe
- 6 round red chili , or 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 5 clove laung
- 2 inch cinnamon, broken
- 1 big black cardamom
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon corriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black cumin, optional
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 500 gram boneless beef, cut in small cubes, preferably beef chuck or beef roast or lamb shank
- 250 gram or 1 cup split chickpea, soaked for 2 hours in warm water
- 4 tablespoon Shami kabab Spice Mix, less or more to taste (recipe given above or buy from here.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 3 green chilies, or 1 tablespoon green chilli paste
- 2 inch ginger , or 1 ½ tablespoon ginger paste
- 4 fat cloves garlic , or 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup water, or more if needed
- 3 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon chat masala, or more to taste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 hard-boiled egg, chopped
- 3 eggs, for egg wash
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- Breadcrumbs, if using as needed
- Oil, for frying
Spice Mix Recipe
- Roast whole spices on medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then grind roasted spice finely in a coffee grinder. Shami Kabab masala or spice mix is ready.
- In a pot take all ingredients of cooking meat. Cook for 45 minutes until meat is tender and lentil is soft and mushy.
- Burn all the excess water with constant stirring. This step is important.
- Let the mixture cool. Then in a chopper make a smooth mixture of dal and meat.
- In a large dish take kabab mixture, mint , fresh coriander, boiled egg, 1 beaten egg, chopped onion, chat masala and salt. Mix well.
- Grease your hand and roll out kabab from the mixture.
- Beat 3 eggs with salt and red chilli powder.
- Dip each kabab in egg and then in bread crumbs. (if using bread crumbs.)
- Shallow fry each kabab in oil until golden brown and serve hot.
- If you are using lean meat then add oil in preparing kabab or the kababs are too dry.
- If you like very soft melt in mouth Shami kabab then reduce beef to 300 gram and increase ½ cup split chickpea in the recipe.
- You can use ground beef instead of boneless beef but you'll miss the thread (resha). If using ground beef then you can simply mashed the mixture with a potato masher until it is uniform. Drying excess water is crucial with ground beef to form kabab.