Shammi Kabab

First time I ever eat this Kabab (kebab if you like. I am Bong so I will stick to Kabab) was in Pasher chachi’s house. Now who is Pasher Chachi? I know if my family members were reading this blog, they would know I have only one Pasher Chachi despite of actually moving house ‘n’ number of times. She was our neighbor (Pasher Chachi means aunt (Chachi) from the neighbor) . We, specially my brother stayed in her house more than ours. She would always make something nice to eat in the evening when we would come back from playing in the ground. Her house smelled of ‘ifter’ all the time. I have eaten Shammi Kabab in so many places but nothing matches my mental expectation, as my mind only recognizes how it used to taste when Chachi made it.

This particular Kabab is very famous in Pakistan too, tells one of my clients who share my interest in food. She is from Afghanistan and it seems they make something similar but uses chicken. I have her recipe too which I plan to try soon. However today I will make it with mutton (goat’s meat) as I have some sitting in the fridge for ages.

I am following chachi’s recipe, which is very different from many other recipe of Shammi Kabab that I found on internet. She uses boiled mince mutton. They look like fish cutlets, which are pan-fried. Basically, it meets all my criteria of good soul food: not deep fried, not high on cholesterol and easy to make.

By the way, according to me Lucknow is one of the best places in India to have kabab’s. Whenever I went to field visit, I would always drop by at Tunda’s. Lucknow is proud of its Kebabs. It seems the uniqueness of the kebab of Lucknow is the ‘masala’, which is a zealously guarded family secret and prepared by women in the family. But I would like to share my chachi’s recipe with you. So here it goes!



500g Mince Mutton/Lamb/Chicken

100g Chana Dal or Chickpea (I used boiled and tinned)


2-medium to large onions minced

½-tablespoon ginger paste

½-tablesppon garlic paste

½-teaspoon cumin powder

½-teaspoon red chili powder (optional, use Kashmiri chili powder or as needed)

1-tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

2-slices of bread, torn to small pieces

½-teaspoon garam masala

Salt to taste

Oil as needed


1.     Boil the minced mutton with salt and throw the water once boiled. That way you get rid of unhealthy fats of mutton. If you do not like the idea then just cook the mutton with little water so that you do not have to throw anything

2.    Boil chickpea and drain water

3.    Now mix the mince mutton and chickpeas with hand ( I like it that way) or using a bender so that they are combined together

4.    Now add all the spices with the mutton- chickpea mixture and mix well

5.    Add the bread and mix well so that there is no lump. This will make the mixture tight and easy to work & give shape

6.    Add the coriander leave and mix

7.    Add egg

8.    shape into flat rounds

9.    Heat a frying pan and add little bit of oil

10. Pan fry the kababs until brown on both the sides

 Serve with raita, onion, mint chutney, Kasundi etc

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Shammi Kabab
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Shammi Kabab
Print Recipe

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