5.0/5 rating (8 votes)

Shammi Kebabs

Stuffed Kebabs

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 5
  • Dietary Info LACTOSE-FREE
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 20 mins
Shammi Kebabs

The worlds softest kebab!

Hari says

So the story goes that the lovely Shammi kebabs were created for a overindulgent Newab (these were men of great power that were selected to uphold the sovereignty of Mughal rule) who had lots of money but no teeth.

So his cooks were set to work at his fort in Lucknow to make something delicious and easy for him to eat. They produced the Shammi kebab which was so soft, light and wonderful in texture that it didn't require any teeth to be eaten - so now you know!

I love a good food story and I bet when you cook this you will have a few of your own to tell, well after a few glasses of Pinot Noir that goes so beautifully with this you will!

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 4 cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 7cm cassia bark
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 90g chana dal or split yellow peas, soaked in cold water for about an hour
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled rughly chopped
  • 60g fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g mince lamb, leg meat (this will need to cook for longer)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 fresh green chillies, roughly chopped, with seeds
  • handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ tsp black cumin (shahi zeera) or regular cumin seeds
  • 1 lime , juice only
  • 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, to bind
  • Rapeseed oil, for shallow-frying

For the filling

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped, without seeds
  • handful mint leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Drain the split peas and put them aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cardamom, cloves, cassia and bay leaves. Stir in the split peas.
  3. Roughly chop the onions, garlic and ginger and add to the pan. Fry for 10-20 minutes until they soften.
  4. Add the lamb and pour over enough water to just cover the meat (about 400ml/14fl oz), add half a teaspoon of the salt, partially cover with a lid and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the meat is just starting to brown and catch on the bottom. It’s important that any excess moisture has evaporated.
  6. Remove the whole spices and transfer to a plate and leave to cool for about 15 minutes, then tip into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
  7. Add the green chillies, coriander, garam masala, chilli powder, cumin, the remaining salt and the lime juice to the lamb mixture and blend again.
  8. Gradually add enough of the egg to bind the mixture without making it too wet. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the flour to create a mixture you can shape.


  1. In a separate bowl, mix together the onions, lime juice, chillies,chopped mint and salt. Drain off any liquid before filling the kebabs.

To shape the kebabs

  1. Wet your hands and divide the mixture into about 16-20 portions. (If you find the mixture is still a little too wet to shape into patties, then add another tablespoon of flour.) Shape one portion into a patty about 4cm/1½in in diameter and 5mm thick.
  2. Put three-quarters of a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the patty, and draw the edges around and over it to encase the filling and form a rough ball. Then flatten it into a 5mm-thick patty.
  3. Place on a tray, repeat with the remaining mixture, then chill in the fridge for an hour before cooking.
  4. To fry the kebabs, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the patties in batches for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
  5. Serve warm with lime wedges, mint chutney and red onion kachumber.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)9.3
of which saturates (g)3.5
Carbohydrates (g)5.0
of which sugars (g)1.4
Fibre (g)0.6
Protein (g)12
Salt (mg)0.80
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

Useful equipment

Go to the shop

This goes well with

You may also like to try

Share this

“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Shammi Kebabs ”


Comments (2)

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    29 August 2015 at 12:56 |
    Hi Steve Oh dear! I'm glad the flavours were good though. These are a bit tricky and you really need the mixture to lose all the moisture so they will bind. If you thing its too wet a little flour or corn flour will help. Glad you still got to enjoy the flavours though. I'd be really interested to hear how you get on next time. Thanks for your comments Hari


  • Steve


    29 August 2015 at 08:25 |
    Something must have been lost in translation. In the end, what I made wasn't shammi kebabs but the flavours were delicious! Where I went wrong was not having the heat high enough whilst "boiling" the lamb and the subsequent patties were too wet to mould. I made a rissoles out of it and used the filling inside the flat bread. Either way it was delicious and I'll try again!


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.

By providing your email address you are allowing Hari Ghotra LTD to send you email communications in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

“ Don’t forget you can stay up-to-date with all my latest recipes by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Google and Pinterest or by subscribing to my YouTube channel ”
Hari Ghotra