Shami Kebab are made with chicken, lamb or beef mince. Lentils and egg help to hold the patties together. In Punjab it’s a popular festive food served alongside pulao and raita.
No get together in our house is complete without shami kebabs as they can be frozen for a pretty long time and are quick and easy to make. They are versatile as you can serve them with tea as well as a side with rice mains.
Shami kebab make delicious sandwiches and burgers, too. In fact, a street food special burger in Lahore, called Shami Burger, is being sold for many decades now as a filling, yummy and economical meal, quite as popular as a hot dog in the USA.
You can freeze shami kebabs both before and after frying. Layer them in a single layer in a freezer box. Spread a plastic wrap over it to then put the next layer of kebabs on top. Continue till you have stored all kebabs nicely. The plastic wrap keeps the kebabs from clinging to each other and makes it easier to remove from the box even if you want just one kebab.
If you are freezing the shami kebabs after frying, reheat them in a microwave or in a lightly greased frying pan on low heat, covered.
If you freeze them before frying, dip the discs in egg and shallow fry them as mentioned in the cooking instructions. Personally, I prefer to first fry and then freeze them, because then it’s a matter of minutes to reheat them.
You can make your own garam masala by first toasting and then grinding 3 black cardamoms, 6 cloves, 2 table spoons black pepper corns, 2 sticks cinnamon, 2 tablespoons cumin seeds. Grind them together till they are powdered.
1/2 cup yellow gram lentils/channa daal
1 teaspoon salt
1+1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground garam masala
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup, fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 green chilli peppers, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil for shallow frying
This Is What You Do:
Let it simmer on medium heat for about 45 minutes or till the lentils are really tender.
Dry out all the liquid or the dough for kebabs will be too soft to handle.
Once the mixture is cool, whiz it in a food processor till a smooth dough forms like cookie dough.
Add onions, coriander and green chillies to the dough and mix well.
Make small discs like cookies out of the dough. Brush them slightly on all sides with egg (it’s easier to use your fingers).
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry shami kebabs on both sides till golden brown. Enjoy with mint and yogurt dip. These shami kebabs also taste great as a starter or a side dish with pulao.