I have shared many recipes so far from the refined courtly food cultures of Hyderabad and Avadh here on my blog. Many meat dishes enjoyed today in the region are the legacy of those princely cuisines, and are still cooked with extra passion and love by ardent fans of sophisticated dishes. These dishes are aromatic with spices, rich with the addition of dried fruits and nuts and the texture of the meat is specially chosen to give each recipe a distinct character of it’s own. They reflect the dexterity and inventiveness of the cooks who created them and the hyperbolic lavishness of the palates that enjoyed them.

Shami kebabs and Shikumpuri Kebabs are such delicacies that have no match anywhere else in the world. These two kebabs are actually Minced meat and lentil cakes. The difference is that Shikumpuri kebabs are made more formal and festive than Shami kebabs with a stuffing made from very thick and creamy hung yogurt, combined with finely chopped onions, mint, coriander, green chillies and an assortment of nuts and dried fruits.

The resulting shallow fried, Meat and Lentil Cakes have a smooth, melt in the mouth texture with a creamy core and loads of texture and flavour blast from the chopped herbs and nuts. These kebabs are a divine indulgence that you want to cherish with each bite. But also quite filling, hence the name ‘Shikumpuri’ which means bellyful or satisfying.

I reserve this treat for special occasions like Eid or a family gathering. You can serve them as a tea snack with some chutney or as a side with pulao and raita, or korma and naan.


1/2 kg lamb or chicken mince
1/2 cup gram lentils (chana dal)
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 cup raisins
Salt to taste
1/2 cup hung yogurt
1/2 cup assorted nuts and raisins
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 green chilli peppers, finely chopped
A small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
Olive or sunflower oil for shallow frying

This Is What You Do:

Add mince, lentils, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, all the dry spices and salt to a deep pan.

Add 2-3 cups of water. Cover the pan and cook on medium low heat till the mince and lentils are completely cooked. If there is still liquid in the pan, remove the lid and raise heat to evaporate all the water. Keep stirring so that the mince and lentil mixture doesn’t catch at the bottom or burn. The final mix should be completely dry.

Let it cool down completely. Grind the mix by hand in a mortar and pestle or quickly in a food processor. Don’t add any water while grinding. The mixture should be like bread dough after grinding.

Mix hung yogurt (very thick curd) with chopped onions, herbs, green chillies, nuts and dried fruits in a bowl.

Divide the mixture into 12 little balls. Wet your hands. Flatten a ball on your palm, place a spoonful of filling in the centre. Take another small ball and flatten it over the mixture. Seal the filling in between the two flattened dough balls completely. Make a nice smooth cake.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Heat very little oil in a frying pan, just enough to grease the pan.

Dip a cake in the beaten egg and fry till golden on both sides. Repeat with all the kebabs. Don’t overcrowd the frying pan as it will be difficult to flip them because the kebabs have a delicate texture.

Serve warm as a tea snack or as a dinner side dish.

Serves 6

2 Replies to “Shikampuri Kebab, Stuffed Meat Lentil Cakes”

  1. Shikampuri kababs were simply delightful 👌 my family really enjoyed their Ifthar and suhoor with these amazing kababs yesterday 🍘.
    I just ate all the left off stuffings with brown bread 😍. seems ,the stuffing can be a great option for a healthy salad.
    Thankas a big bunch for the amazing recipe my dearest Maria.💖💞hugs .

    1. Always great to get your feedback, dearest Nillu! 😊 I’m happy to know your family enjoyed my recipe 😊
      And yes, the batter makes wonderful stuffing for all sorts of rolls, samosa and patties. 😊

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