Shami Kebab

‘Shami Kebab’ is a small patty composed of minced or ground meat mixed with Bengal gram lentils and spices. It is a very popular snack in India and features regularly in Pakistani and Afghan cuisine. In India it is generally prepared with mutton. However one can use any kind of meat like beef, chicken or lamb. Since mutton is unavailable at my current place, I used lamb mince to prepare these kebabs. They act as delicious starters to impress guests. 🙂

Shami Kabab

Shami Kebab

Ingredients for 12 pieces :

  1. Meat mince – 250 gm.
  2. Bengal gram or chana dal (soaked for 1 hr.) – 50 gm.
  3. Potato (medium size, cut into halves) – ½
  4. Onion (small, cut into large cubes) – ½
  5. Ginger-garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  6. Cumin seed – ¼ tbspoon
  7. Dry red chilli – 3 to 4
  8. Whole gamar masala (Cinnamon stick – 1″, Clove – 3, Black cardamom – 1/green cardamom – 3 pods)
  9. Black pepper corn – 6-8
  10. Salt – ¼ tbspoon
  11. Chopped onion (medium size) – ½
  12. Chopped fresh coriander leaves – 2-3 tbspoon
  13. Chopped green chilli – 1
  14. Egg – 1
  15. Water – 1¼ cup
  16. Cooking oil to fry the kebabs

Procedure :

Take the ingredients from 1 – 10 & 15 in a large pot, mix well and put over gas on medium flame. As water starts boiling, cover the pan with a lid and put the gas on low-medium. Let it cook for 30-35 minutes, stir occasionally so that it doesn’t get brunt from the bottom . When the lentils get cooked and all of water evaporated, put the gas off. Let the mixture come to room temperature.

Now discard whole spices and dry red chillies from the mixture and grind it to a coarse paste.

Add ingredients 11, 12 & 13 to this meat paste and mix well. At this point the mixture remains little soft. Leave the mixture for 30 minutes and you will get the binding consistency.

Then wet your hand with little water and start making ‘Kebabs’ i.e. flat round shaped balls out of the paste. The size of them will depend completely up to you. I made 12 medium size kebabs, you can make larger or even smaller than that.

Making the Kababs

Making the Kebabs

Beat egg in a bowl and dip the kebabs into it.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame and shallow fry the kebabs from both sides evenly until brown.

Serve hot with salad and tomato sauce.

Delicious Shami kebab is ready to be served

Delicious Shami kebab is ready to be served

Note :

  1. Make sure all of water evaporates from the meat mixture, otherwise your paste will be too soft and you won’t be able to make kebabs out of that mixture.
  2. I throw out the whole spices from the mixture before making the paste. However it is not mandatory and you can keep them with the mixture, if you like.
  3. You can store the kebabs into the refrigerator for one or two days and then fry while needed after defrosting. Keep the kebabs in layers separated by a plastic sheet in an air tight container.

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Mutton Badam Pasanda

Pasanda is a Mughlai dish of meat in rich gravy. Raw meat, coated with yogurt and few spice seasonings, cooks itself in ‘dum’ i.e. in a closed vessel on low heat. The meat could be any of mutton, beef or chicken. And whenever almond nuts are used in the preparation; it is called ‘Badam Pasanda’.

As a Bengali I just love to eat any preparation of mutton. Here goat meat is generally known to us as Mutton. But unfortunately I don’t find goat meat here in Europe, so as an alternative, have to be content with Lamb meat. In fact this time I prepared the dish with lamb meat, which otherwise can well be replaced with mutton or chicken, following the same recipe.

As we all know “Mughlai food” is pretty rich in content, one should not have it just regularly. However during festive season, we can let our daily food habit break loose and compromise a bit. So we can enjoy ‘Mutton Badam Pasanda’ at our home during Durga Puja and perhaps either ‘saptami’ or ‘nabami’ would be ideal for it. 🙂

Mutton Badam Pasanda

Mutton Badam Pasanda

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Boneless pieces of mutton – 400 gm.
  2. Garlic paste – 1 tbspoon
  3. Brown onion or Beresta out of 1 medium size onion
  4. Plain yogurt – 250gm.
  5. Melted Ghee/Clarified Butter – 3½ tbspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – 1½ teaspoon (adjust according to your taste)
  7. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  8. Cumin powder – ½ tbspoon
  9. Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  10. Clove – 2-3
  11. Cardamom – 2-3 pods
  12. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  13. Almond flake/slice – 2 tbspoon + extra for garnishing
  14. Salt to taste

Procedure :

Mix together the meat, garlic paste, yogurt, chilli powder, pepper powder, cumin powder, sugar, cloves, cardamom and ghee in a kadai or heavy bottomed frying pan.

Meat mixture

Meat mixture

Put the kadai on gas over very low flame and cover it with a lid. Let the meat cook on ‘dum’ i.e. in air tight condition on low heat. There is no need to add water, the meat will cook by yogurt, ghee and the water released by itself.

Grind the brown onion into a fine dust.

As the meat gets cooked (it took more than one hour for me) add brown onion powder, garam masala powder, almond flakes and salt. Give it a good stir and again let it cook for another 4-5 minutes putting the lid of the pan.

Now transfer the meat in a serving bowl and garnish with almond flakes.

It will be best served with ‘rumali roti’ (the thinnest bread in the world)  in my opinion. But making ‘rumali roti’ is not the easiest task and I didn’t try it at home yet. So I served mutton badam pasanda with Misti Pulao. It will be equally enjoyable with roti, paratha or puri.

Mutton badam pasanda with misti pulao

Mutton badam pasanda with misti pulao

Note :

  1. You can use whole almonds instead of flakes. Just peel and boil the almonds before using. I have almond flakes in my stock so I used that.
  2. Mutton takes time to get cooked. In order to cook it faster marinate it with green papaya paste overnight. Green papaya paste works as a natural meat tenderizer.

Lamb Curry

Mutton curry over Sunday lunch is the dearest thing on earth for the Bengali. It features right on top of their list of coveted foods for years. However, outside India, mutton is not the easiest meat to get and one has no choice but to replace it by lamb while following the same recipe. Here I am sharing the traditional mutton recipe which my mother used to follow, that I watched while growing up and still vivid in memory.

Delicious Lamb curry

Delicious Lamb curry

Ingredients to serve 4 to 5 :

  1. Lamb (cut into medium size pieces) – 500 gm.
  2. Potato (medium size) – 4
  3. Finely chopped tomato (large) – ½
  4. Onion (large) – 2
  5. Garlic – 2 to 3 big cloves
  6. Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
  7. Plain yogurt – 2 tbspoon
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  10. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Nutmeg powder –  ½ teaspoon
  12. Whole garam masala
  13. Mace or Javitri – ¼ teaspoon
  14. Bay leaf – 2
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Cooking oil (preferably mustard oil)

Procedure :

Marinate the meat with salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, nutmeg powder, bay leaves, tomato, yogurt, ginger paste and 1½ tbspoon of oil for at least 2 hours (for best result marinate it overnight).

Marinated Lamb

Marinated Lamb

Peel the skin of the potatoes and cut them each into 2 halves. Finely slice the onions and crush the garlic. Take the whole garam masala as shown in the picture below or look for the ingredients of garam masala under “Useful Supplementary” tab.

Ingredients for lamb curry

Ingredients for lamb curry

Slightly fry the potatoes with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.

Heat 2 tbspoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add mace, whole garam masala spices and saute them till nice aroma comes out. Then add crushed garlic and fry till light brown. Throw the onions into it and fry till it becomes brown. Now add the marinated lamb and cook very well until oil comes out from the mixture, add the half fried potatoes in mid way. Now pour water as needed, also add salt if needed. Let the mixture boil. Now cover it with the lid on and cook over medium heat till the meat becomes tender. Lamb takes longer time to cook, often more than one and half hour, so keep patience. After the wait, long but worthy, you are ready to serve the delicious lamb curry. Serve it with rice or chapati.

Lamb curry with Rice

Lamb curry with Rice

Note : I follow the same recipe with chicken. You can do as well. 🙂