Friday, February 24, 2012

Shami Kababs

Shami Kebabs

Shami kebab is a fried kebab made of ground lamb mixed with ground chickpeas and spices. A popular appetizer in the Pakistani cuisine shami kebab is believed to have been introduced to the South Asian kitchens during the Mughal period. Lamb is cooked with chana dal and other spices and then ground to form a smooth uniform mixture. This is shaped into round or oblong cutlets and then deep fried. Shami kebabs are served with mint chutney, lemon slices and raw onions rings. Serve them alongside naan and mixed greens for a full meal.
You can make the same recipe with ground chicken. Just substitute chicken for lamb and proceed. I usually don't deep fry these cutlets. Instead I spray them with olive oil and then crisp them on medium heat in a flat non-stick pan. The deep fried ones taste more rich and the entire cutlet browns and crisps up evenly including the side circumference.

Ingredients: (makes 15)
1 lb minced lamb
1/3 C chana dal (or yellow split peas) soaked for an hour
3 cloves of garlic
2 inches ginger
2-4 green chilies
whole spices- (4 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 black cardamom, 3-4 green cardamoms, few peppercorns, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds)
1 small chopped red onion
finely chopped scallions
finely chopped fresh coriander
green chillies(optional)
1 egg

Lamb Cutlets with mint chutney
  1. Take the lamb, chana dal, ginger, garlic, green chilies and whole spices in a pressure cooker along with 3/4 cup water and salt to taste. 
  2. After the first whistles, reduce heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes under full pressure. For chicken cook for one whistle them remove from heat. If you are not using a pressure cooker then cook in a covered pan with water as needed till chana dal is soft and lamb is cooked through. 
  3. Once cooked, check for moisture. If there is still some water then boil it off till mixture is quite dry. Allow the mixture to cool. 
  4. At this point remove the cinnamon stick and black cardamom. Then grind the meat mixture in a food processor till everything grinds to a smooth paste. The whole spices and chana dal should all grind up. 
  5. To this add chopped onion, scallions, fresh coriander, green chilies and egg. Using your hands, mix well. Check and adjust seasoning. 
  6. Once everything combines, shape into kebabs either round or oblong. You should end up with about 15 kebabs. Place them in the fridge or 1/2 hour to firm up a bit. 
  7. Next, in a frying pan heat some oil on medium heat and fry the kebabs until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve hot. 
  8. If you make a double batch, cutlets that are not fried can be frozen for about 2-3 months.