Low Fat Shammi Kababs

I just love Shammi Kababs, it was an obsession for me! There used to be a time when this was a weekly standing order of mine at the famous Delhi Darbar restaurant in Dubai. I never dared to make Shammi Kababs at home, since it sounded like such an intimidating and long procedure. It was easier for me to just dial the restaurant and happily wolf them down in the blink of an eye.

Quickly the pounds started to pile and alarm bells rang in my head, so anything deep fried was completely banned in my life. Misery and despair crushed my soul and I pined away at the loss of those succulent morsels. I suppose more tears were shed at Delhi Darbar as they pondered on the ‘loss’ of their favourite customer.

Fast forward to my busy life as a mom of two and always racking my brains for something healthy for my kids lunchbox. I decided stubbornly no matter what, I had to figure out a quick and easy method to make these delicious kababs, since I was dead sure that my kids would love it just as much as I did. With many trials and errors I concluded with this ‘low fat’ recipe and the kababs was attacked by everyone in the family. I somehow had to shut myself in the kitchen to click a few snaps for this post before the door got knocked down. Hope you like my non-traditional take on Shammi Kababs.


500 gm minced lamb


1/2 cup bengal gram / chana dal

1 large onion chopped roughly divided into two parts

Kashmiri dry red chilies 2-3

Himalayan Salt to taste

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp dry ginger powder (optional)

1 tbsp heaped ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp gram masala powder

handful of coriander leaves / cilantro

handful of mint leaves (optional)

1-2 green chillies (optional)

1 egg

oil for shallow frying

In a pressure cooker, add the lamb mince, water (just to cover the ingredients), Bengal gram, whole dry red chillies, salt, turmeric powder, 1 half part chopped onions, ginger and garlic paste.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover to cook it until all the water has evaporated and the meat is tender (one whistle on high and then flame lowered and another 15 minutes of cooking). Remove this from the heat and keep aside to cool ( if there seems to be more water, let this cook uncovered until the water dries up). Mince the meat in a food processor, along with the green chillies, the rest of the chopped onions, mint leaves, cilantro, garam masala powder and 1 egg. Divide the mixture equally into small lemon-sized portions and shape each of them into patties. Heat up cooking oil in a shallow pan and fry the patties until they turn a golden brown.

I prefer not to deep fry these (which is how it’s traditionally done), it’s less fattening and better for your cholesterol to shallow fry (or bake, sprayed with cooking oil) these kababs as they are already pre-cooked. Serve them hot with a yogurt mint chutney or a tangy tomato-onion and coriander relish.

Tip- If you avoid the fresh green chillies, this is delicious for kids and works out as a perfect tummy filler for their school lunch boxes.

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