|Place of origin||Afghanistan India|
|Region or state||Western Asia, Central Asia, South Asia|
|Main ingredient(s)||Mutton, lamb or chicken, Cow Beef, chickpeas and spices|
Shami kebab (Persian: شامی کباب, Urdu: شامی کباب, Hindi: शामी कबाब), or shami tikka (Urdu: شامی تکہ, Hindi: शामी टिक्का), is a popular Afghan and Indian variety of kebab, also found in Pakistani cuisine. A variation of Shami kebab is found in Bangladeshi cuisine. They are also popular in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. It is composed of a small patty of minced meat, (usually beef in Afghanistan, or mutton in India, but occasionally lamb or mutton), with ground chickpeas, egg to hold it together, and spices.
Shami kebabs are an extremely popular snack throughout Iran and in India, particularly the state of Uttar Pradesh (Awadh). They are often garnished with lemon juice and/or sliced raw onions, and may be eaten with chutney made from mint or coriander. They are also served along with Sheer Khurma on Muslim Eid Days.
Shami kebab literally means Syrian kebab (Sham) in Arabic. Some are of the opinion that these kebabs were introduced to South Asia during the Mughal era by Muslim emigrants from the Middle East. They had employed cooks from all over the Muslim world to serve in the royal kitchens. Some of the cooks were from Syria as well. The Sham refers to either Syria specifically or the Levant in general, and these kebabs literally means Syrian kebabs or Levantine kebabs in Arabic.
The BBC cites a story that the Shami kebab was invented "by a highly skilled chef for a toothless Nawab of Lucknow". The nawab was supposedly so fat that he could not ride a horse, and he had lost all his teeth, thus could only eat a kebab made of mincemeat.
Shami kababs are boiled or sauteed meat and chick pea lentils (chana daal) with whole hot spices (garam masala, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves bayleaf), whole ginger, whole garlic and some salt to taste until completely tender. Onions, turmeric, chili powder, egg, chopped coriander and mint leaves may be added in preparing kebab. Garam masala powder (ground spices) may be used in place of whole hot spices.
Shami kebabs may be served with ketchup, hot sauce, chilli garlic sauce, raita (an Indian dip made of yoghurt, vegetables and some spices) or chutney. Before serving it is also common to dip the kebabs in a beaten egg mixture and double fry the kebabs.Also it is eaten popularly in Hyderabad with normal rice and/or Chapati.
- Rick Stein (2013). "Shami kebabs". The BBC: Food Recipes. Retrieved 2013-08-21.