Shami Kebab, chicken lentils patties are another very popular South Asian snack. The word ‘shami’ either refers to evening time as this is served traditionally with afternoon tea or it hints towards Syrian cuisine as the origin of this recipe. It is also said that some toothless nawab of Lukhnow created this recipe for super soft kebabs that he could eat easily.

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 kg ground chicken
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:

Place ground chicken, gram lentils, salt, chilli powder, garam masala powder and ginger-garlic paste in a deep pan. Add enough water to soak everything.

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.

Serves 18.

3 Replies to “Shami Kebab, Chicken Lentils Patties”

  1. Hi Maria, This looks good and I must try it, I don’t cook much with split chickpeas, so are they just ones in a can? and is garam masala a spice found at Asian store? Thanks for sharing this. Anita

    1. Hey Anita,thanks for liking this recipe 🙂 split chickpeas are yellow coloured lentils, also called chana daal which you will find most probably at some Asian/Indian store.If you can’t find them , replace them with 1/2 cup boiled or canned chick peas. Garam masala is a dry blend of whole spices, also available at Indian stores but I have added in the recipe how to make your own garam masala.Hope this will solve the problem 🙂

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