Past few days were really eventful with Eid celebrations, farewell to my Ammi (mom), and the baby. I hardly got time to sit down and post a recipe. This Bakrid was a memorable one for many reasons. Firstly, first Eid with a new family member, Aisha (my two month old baby). Secondly, my mother was with us to help with the baby from Ramzan to Bakrid this year and she left to India last week. We had a gala time together and I cannot express how much I miss her now. When we invited our friends for Eid dinner, I asked my Ammi to prepare best of her traditional Eid recipes as I wanted to learn and devour those dishes which I have been enjoying since childhood. Needless to say she did it so effortlessly and all the dishes were flawless and irresistibly delicious. We enjoyed preparing these dishes together as much as everyone enjoyed eating it.
The menu was Mutton Dum Biryani, Shami Kebabs for Non-vegetarians and Veg Dum Biryani, Raw Banana Kebabs, Mirchi Ka Salan (Spicy Jalapeno Gravy), Aloo Bhukara Chutney (Plum Chutney), Salads and for dessert a Hyderabadi classic Qubani ka Meeta (Dried Apricot Compote) with Custard.
Today, I thought to share the recipe of Shami Kebabs which are very popular through out India. These are succulent and delicate patties made with boneless meat and bengal gram along with some fragrant spices. There are many versions of this recipe and I believe it comes out really well if made with boneless mutton pieces rather than minced meat (keema). Here I am using minced meat but feel free to replace with small cubes of goat, lamb, beef or even chicken.
Meat is cooked with some spices and chana dal (split bengal gram) until well done and grinded to make smooth mixture. At this stage, you can freeze the mixture as is or by making small patties. The patties are shallow fried just before serving. They are best served hot with nice crunchy onions and lemon wedges as tea time snack or as appetizer for a party.
Servings: 12 medium size patties
Minced Mutton: 500 gms (approx 1 lb)
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram): 1/2 Cup, soaked for 20 mins
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tbsp (5-6 cloves or garlic and 1″ ginger minced finely)
Green Chilies: 2, chopped roughly
Mint (Pudina): 2 tbsp, chopped finely
Shahi Jeera (Black Cumin Seeds): 1/2 tsp
Green Cardamom: 4-5
Cinnamon: 1 ” piece
Black Cardamom: 1 (Optional)
Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Salt: 2 tsp (As Required)
Water: 1 – 1.5 cups
Onions: 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Coriander Leaves: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil: for shallow frying
- Dry roast cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms on low heat and make a fine powder. (This is garam masala powder which I use in most of the dishes)
- In a pressure cooker, add minced meat, soaked chana dal, ginger garlic paste, shahi jeera, ground garam masala powder, chili powder, coridaner powder,turmeric, salt, mint leaves, green chilies and water
- Mix well and pressure cook it for 2 whistles on high or until the meat and dal are cooked well
- Dry all the moisture from the mixture by cooking on high heat without the lid
- Let the mixture cool down and grind it in the food processor to a fine consistency without adding any water
- Check the seasoning at this stage and adjust accordingly
- Add beaten egg little by little and grind again in short pulses. Stop adding egg when the mixture is hard enough that it does not leave the spoon easily when dropped. You will need approximately half an egg. At this stage try to shallow fry a small patty to test if its holding properly. See notes if there is a problem
- Remove the mixture to a bowl and add finely chopped onions and coriander leaves an mix
- Make small patties of lemon sized portions and if you want to freeze, line them on the baking tray and freeze for half an hour. Take the patties out and store in ziploc bags for 6 months in the freezer. This way the patties will not stick to each other. You can take them out and shallow fry directly whenever needed
- On a non-stick pan, add some oil and fry the patties until brown on both sides
These patties are so delicate but they should hold itself. If your patties are not holding properly it means there is more moisture or fat in the mixture. Egg added will help as binder but if it fails, follow any one of the tips mentioned here.
- Roast two tablespoons of gram flour or besan until fragrant with nutty smell and add to the mixture teaspoon at a time and test
- Take two tablespoons of raw minced meat and grind to fine consistency and mix well with the mixture
- Add two tablespoons of bread crumbs and mix well