Monday, July 23, 2012

My Favourite and The Very Desi- Shaami Kebabs

My maternal grandmother was an awesome cook and although she is no more with us, her strongest legacy perhaps, are her desi recipes. They have been passed down to almost every family member and we have all taken great pains to continue cooking certain dishes just the way she taught. My own mother does not cook at all but she has ensured that Nani's traditional recipes carry on being cooked and served by our family cook. My mother's cook had the good fortune to have met my Nani and managed to learn much from her. Thankfuly, she does a great job! Some of our family favourites include Yakhni Gosht Pulao (Pulao cooked on slow heat in a meat stock and yoghurt), Bhuni Kaleji (Fried liver), Mata Keena (Mince with peas), and ofcourse Shaami kebabs.

Shaami kebabs remain an absolute favourite of every member in our family and even amongst friends who have been visiting us for years. Mom gets this made especialy for her X'mas parties, kilos and kilos of it. We have been told by our friends that they wait the whole year especially to get invites for X'mas and eat shaami kebabs to their heart's content! Not that they need to wait for Xmas per se! When I visit Benaras for my holidays, mom makes sure there is plenty of Kebab mixture kept in the fridge so that my entire holidays are spent in utter bliss-think kebab parathas for breakfast, Dal-chawal and kebab for lunch, Kebab and buns for tea and so on....

It is easy enough to prepare. Once you have the mix ready, you can alsomake patties and keep a batch in the freezer for use later. They can be simply taken out and shallow fried straight away. No need to even thaw!

Here's the How To:

500 gms Calf/Mutton mince
1/2 cup of (medium sized) Soaked chana dal-10 mins
1' stick of cinammom
4 green cardamoms
1 big black cardamom
4-5 cloves
10-15 black pepper corns (depending on your taste)
5-6 whole red dry chillis
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Saunf- fennel seeds (this is my addition and not a part of Nani's recipe)
1tbsp ginger-garlic paste

Boil the above in 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker. Untill completely done. About 5-6 whistles on medium flame.

When the mince is bolied along with the spices, open pan, take out the mixture, let cool on a plate. Also, fish out the cinammon, big cardamom, cloves(if you can) and chuck them away.

Once the above is cooled, grind them in your mixer to a paste. Ensure that it does not become too thin a paste. Coarse is fine. The picture above is of the bolied and cooled mince with the spices.

To this now add :

1 medium sized onion, very finely chopped.
A handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
A handful of fresh corriander leaves, finely chopped
4-6 fresh green chillis ( or as many as you prefer) finely chopped. I make it rather hot.
*2 eggs beaten or *1 tbsp of hung yoghurt or *2 slices of stale white bread. Either one is fine although using hung yoghurt gives it a nice flavour and a hint of tanginess.

* Add salt to taste (and onion too), at the very end, just before frying the kebabs so that you dont get a wet, soppy mix due to the moisture content in the salt and onions.
* Instead of fresh onions, you can also use fried/caramelised onions.

Mix and make patties. Shallow fry in very little oil. Say about 2 tbsp. If you use too much oil, the kebabs will surely crumble, like it happened to my kebabs in the picture below...I used more than 2 tbsp because I was distracted. In my next batch, I used only 2 tbsp and they were perfect!  Fry them untill browned on both sides.

 Serve warm with mint chutney/dip and some onion rings. As a starter or even as a side to your main course.


  1. looks totally awesome... Will have to try it out.. Thanks a ton :D

  2. Lovely!! Keep up the good work!

  3. @Nandini: Thanks for visiting and the compliments. Do come back for more.

    @Anshie: Coming from you?? High praise, thanks a bunch!

  4. Yummy... I am going to try it- Susmita

  5. Yummm... I will surely try this recipe...

  6. Making this recipe, smelling yummmm so far, everyone's going to love it am sure... already sniffing and coming to the kitchen :)asking whether the kebabs are ready - Vaishali

  7. @Vaishali: I am so happy that you are going to try this, trust me once you get a hang of it, it will become an easy choice for family gatherings and parties. Let me know how did they turn out.

    @Susmita: Thanks. for visiting and commenting, looking fwd to more lovely visit from you here. :)

  8. I tried these and boy did they deliver! Yummo!

  9. love the spices wala pic harshika.. :)

  10. I am sure tying this recipe once when i do a indian dinner evening.