Shaami Kabobs are a melt-in-your-mouth minced meat patty consisting of beef(or mutton), channa daal(chickpeas), onions, and various spices. They are popularly served as an appetizer, but can very well be served as a side dish with rice. While testing out recipes for Shaami Kabob, I got intrigued by what the history behind this unique recipe could be and learned a few cool facts. First off, the etymology refers to Bilad-al-Shaam, a region of present-day Syria, where most of the chefs had migrated from during the Mughal Era. As for the story behind the recipe, legend has it that it was invented by a Mughal Era chef for the Nawab(ruling nobleman)of Lucknow. According to various myths, the Nawab was overweight and toothless due to his overindulgences of being a Nawab. So as not to miss out on eating the delicious food made by his chefs, he challenged his chef to make such as dish that could be eaten without having any teeth, thus was born the Shaami Kabob.
For about the last month, I have been on a mission to come up with a good recipe to share with you all. In the past, my shaami kabobs have always been lacking in one area, the final texture. I’ve always struggled with getting that perfect softness without it falling apart on me and without compromising on the flavour. After many consultations with family members and trial tests, I am officially Shaami Kabob’d out! Not really, but I am very excited to finally have a version to share with you all. So, please do try it out and let me know if any more tweaking can be done. My recipes are always a work in progress and can always be improved with feedback. Happy Kabobing!
(yields about 15 kabobs)
2 lb Boneless Beef(cut into small cubes)
2 Medium Onions Sliced
1/4 cup Channa Daal
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Red Pepper Powder
1 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Whole Black Peppers
1 Cinnamon Stick
4-5 Whole Green Chilis
1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Mint
2 Egg Whites
Oil for Frying
1. In a pressure cooker or electric pressure cooker(Instant Pot), add the beef, onions, channa daal, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, red pepper powder, salt, garam masala, whole black peppers, cardamom, cinnamon stick and green chilis. Mix everything together well and add about 1 cup of water or until it is covered.
2. I set my electric pressure cooker on the ‘Meat’ setting for 30 minutes. For a regular pressure cooker, cook on medium flame for 30 minutes.
3. Once the meat is cooked, uncover the pot and cook further to reduce the remaining liquid in the pot. I cook it just until the meat mixture starts sticking to the pot. It should be a sticky consistency and not too dry. Allow to cool completely.
4. Next, take a food processor to mince the meat. Take about half the meat mixture, add to it one egg white(used for binding) and half the chopped cilantro and mint. Mince the meat completely to a pasty consistency. Repeat with he other half of the meat.
5. Now you are ready to make the patties. First taste and adjust salt if needed. Next, make sure the mixture is mixed completely and you have a nice sticky, pasty consistency.
Here is the part I always struggle with, and it’s ok!
*If you feel your mixture still feels dry and crumbly, add 1 more egg white and 1 tbsp yogurt. This should help make it softer.
* If you feel the mixture is too soft and may fall apart while frying, add 1 tbsp besan(gram flour) to act as an additional binding agent.
6. Form round patties using about 1/4 cup of meat each. Roll the meat into a nice round ball. Then using the palms of your hand, flatten to make the round patty. You can also make it into a diamond shaped patty by adding points to the two ends of the the patties(See picture below).
7. Heat a frying pan with enough oil to shallow fry the patties. Slowly add the patty to the pan and fry until browned on each side, being careful while flipping.
Your Shaami Kabobs are ready to serve!