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Shami Kabab – lamb and chickpea kababs

Homemade Shami Kababs bring back so many memories of Delhi and my childhood there. These delectable patties made with lamb and chickpeas were very popular at parties and they are moreish! Minced meat and split chickpeas slow cooked with spices, ground, shaped into patties and pan fried. I learnt how to make these from my bestie’s mum. They were from Aligarh and their meat dishes were always superb. My recipe is adapted and slightly modified for a modern kitchen. This is a little bit time consuming because you have to cook the meat and chickpeas first and then grind or mash them. I do the latter as I find it works well.
Cuisine Indian
Keyword CHICKPEA, Lamb, Shami Kabab
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 29 minutes
Servings 7 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg minced lamb
  • 1 cup split chickpeas soaked for at least four hours
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • masala see ingredients for that below
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt
  • 1 egg
  • gram flour (besan)
  • oil for shallow frying

Masala ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 8 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick

Method

  • Grind all the masala ingredients together in a spice/coffee grinder or pestle and mortar. If you do not have grinding apparatus then buy a good quality garam masala. Place all the ingredients together with the masala in a slow cooker, pressure cooker or heavy bottomed pan with a lid with 1/4 cup of water. Depending on which method you use this will take you anywhere between half an hour (pressure cooker), an hour (ordinary pan) or more. Once the meat and chickpeas are cooked, dry the remaining liquid by cooking on a high heat setting and stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Add the egg and mash the mixture by hand using the back of your fist or with a potato masher until all ingredients are mixed. It will probably have some liquid left so sprinkle on 1/2 cup of gram flour and knead again. Try shaping a walnut sized ball into a pattie and do a test fry. If it holds its shape well and doesnt froth and break up, you are good to proceed with the rest.
  • Shape into balls on the palms of your pre-oiled hands and flatten each ball to form a small patty, about 2.5 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. Shallow fry on both sides until reddish brown.
  • Serve with mint and coariander chutney.

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