So, one of the explanations is that shami kebab got its name from the word shaam, which means dinner and night in Persian. In Hindi and Urdu shaam means evening. The name may also have derived from the scent called shamama. Anyway, my thoughts are, whether it is an Indian, Pakistani or Middle Eastern dish, I love eating them. Whichever part of the world it's from, the basics are the same, which I‘ll share with you today. A really delicious snack or starter which my dad loved to make. My dad loved cooking and he took pride in making the kebabs, each one moulded into a round shape and they all looked the same.
The kebabs are full of flavour with whole spices and fresh ingredients. I have made the kebabs with mutton mince however, any red meat like beef etc will be just as tasty. When these are made you will see the texture is smooth and silky. You can make this into a burger or wrap. They can be eaten as a snack or pack them for a picnic, oh I miss those picnics with my cousin’s families and grandparents back home and sharing these with them. Anyway, let’s make Shami Kebabs.
Suitable for: Gluten free (use gluten-free flour)
Prep: 30 mins, Cooks in: 70 mins (this includes 20 mins pressure - takes longer in a saucepan)
Serves: 6-8 people
1kg mutton mince or beef
1 medium sliced onion
3 garlic cloves peeled
1 inch sliced ginger
4 small green chillies
4 small cinnamon sticks
1 to 1½ tsp salt
1 heaped tsp coriander powder
1 heaped tsp cumin powder
160g chana daal
3 eggs, salt and red chilli – for coating
Flour for coating - optional
Oil for frying
Handful of fresh chopped coriander
Soak lentils for 20 minutes or longer
Place all the ingredients in the pressure cooker except for eggs, flour, oil and coriander
Close the lid and wait for the pressure cooker whistle which should run for 20 minutes on a medium heat. (ensure pressure cooker has cooled down before opening)
Check if the lentils are soft and if there is any water in the mixture turn the heat on high and let this evaporate, leaving the lid off
Remove the mixture from the pan, into a food processor and blend together until fine or looks smooth
Divide the mixture equally into 20 balls and flatten into a round shape like a patty in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands with flour if you find the mixture sticks to your hands
Whisk the eggs and season with salt and red chilli powder in a separate bowl
Add some flour on a small plate
Coat the kebab in flour, then the egg and place in heated frying pan to shallow fry.
Turn the kebab when the egg has sealed on one side within 5 seconds. Allow to cook and turn until evenly golden all over.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen towel to drain
Garnish with coriander, serve hot with your choice of chutney, any preferred sauces and salad.