Shami kebab (or Shamia)

Shami kebab a famous kebab among other varieties of kebab and very popular in India and Pakistan cuisine. In our home we call it as shamia , it is very soft, delicate and easily melts in your mouth. Shami kebab is made with chana dal (Bengal gram) and mutton/lamb mince or pieces. It is a combination of dal and meat. Each house has its own recipe of kebab, with slight changes in spices. In India, shami kebab is made of lamb meat, where as in Pakistan it is made of beef also.

In our home, we call it shamia. It is my favourite as it is very soft and very delicious to eat. I have prepared shami kebab, both with meat pieces and mince also. In shami kebab, both meat and chana dal and other spices are cooked first, then ground into a smooth mixture and then made into flat circle shapes, dipped in egg and fried in a pan or tava in ghee or oil .You can serve this as a starter or with any meal as a side dish.


  • Mutton (minced) - 300 gms
  • Chana dal – 1/2 cup
  • Onion (small, chopped) – 1
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cloves – 4
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 (1 inch)
  • Green cardamom – 3
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Oil (optional) – 1 tsp
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • For coating

  • Eggs – 2
  • Salt - as per taste


  • First put all the ingredients in a pressure cooker with water and all spices, except eggs. Boil them until they are cooked well. You can give up to 6 whistles of a cooker or according to your cooker instructions. It has to be cooked well. No water should be there. It should be cooked with no liquid left in it. I have used minced mutton.
  • If you want you can remove the whole spices after cooking. Smash it to a paste - it is okay if it is a little coarse . You can even grind if you want the paste to be really fine. Add required amount of salt. Mix well and keep it in the fridge for 2 hrs to overnight. You can prepare it in advance and can refrigerate it and cook it in the next day. You can cook it on the same day as well.
  • Take out the mixture about 1/2 hour before cooking. Make round shapes by dipping your fingers in water and make a small lemon size or medium size ball, then flatten it and make like a circle shape or any shape you like.
  • Put the eggs in a bowl and beat it with a fork well for few seconds. Add salt - just a pinch.
  • Dip shami kebabs in egg mixture and fry it in tava with a drizzle of oil on it or shallow fry it. Fry it on both sides.
  • Preheat the tava with little oil. When it gets warm add shami kebabs and cook it. Do not turn immediately. After a few seconds, turn it, cook it on a medium heat on both sides. You can see this in the picture. In between drizzle some oil on it so that it won't get stuck to the tava.
  • When it is cooked, serve as a starter with onion rings and lime pieces or as a side with any meal.
  • You can do stuffing also like we did in the koftas. You can stuff the same ingredients. See the Shami kebab with stuffing recipe for details.


  • You can adjust the quantity of chilli powder to your liking.
  • Sometimes I forget to add onion. But the taste is good even without onions. So you can avoid onions if you want to.
  • If excess liquid is there after the meat is cooked, cook further until all the liquid is absorbed and becomes dry. If it is watery, then the ground paste will become very soft and will be difficult to shape and handle the shami kebabs.
  • You can also use lamb instead of mince. If lamb pieces are used instead of mince, you need to grind the mixture. I also prepared with the lamb pieces and am showing those pictures here.

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