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Shami kebab

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Shami kabab
Shami kebab on a bed of cucumbers, served with pasta
Region or stateIndian subcontinent
Main ingredientsMeat or fish and spices
VariationsMany variations exist
Food energy
(per serving)
Vary kcal

Shami kabab or shaami kabab is a local variety of kebab, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a popular dish in modern-day Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines.[1] It is composed of a small patty of minced meat, generally beef, but occasionally lamb or mutton (a chicken version exists as well), with ground chickpeas, egg to hold it together, and spices. Shami kebab is eaten as a snack or an appetizer, and is served to guests especially in the regions of Dhaka, Deccan, Punjab, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Sindh.

They are often garnished with lemon juice and served with sliced raw onions as a side salad, and may be eaten with chutney made from mint or coriander.[2] They are also served along with sheer khurma during the celebrations of the Islamic festival of Eid.


Shami kababs are boiled or sauteed meat (beef or lamb) and chickpeas (chana daal) with whole hot spices (garam masala, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves), whole ginger, whole garlic and some salt to taste until completely tender. Onions, turmeric, chili powder, egg, chopped green coriander, chopped green chillies and chopped mint leaves may be added in preparing kebab. Garam masala powder (ground spices) may be used in place of whole hot spices.[3]

The cooked meat is then ground in such a way that it is fibrous and does not become a paste. It is then shaped into diamond or round patties and is shallow fried. The Kashmiri variation uses a proportion of 3 parts mutton to 1 part lentils (chana) and is cooked and then ground to a paste consistency before frying the patties to a brown outer crust while keeping the inner soft.


Shami kebabs may be served with roti along with ketchup, hot sauce, Schezwan sauce, chilli garlic sauce, raita or chutney. Before serving the kebabs, it is also common to dip them in a beaten egg mixture and double-fry them. They are also commonly eaten in Hyderabad with cooked rice or chapati.


There are several etymological explanations behind the shami kebab. One explanation is that the name of the dish derives from the word shaam, which means "dinner" and "night" in Persian. It also means evening in Urdu and Hindi. The name may also derive from the scent of an itr called shamama.[4] The name shami kebab may also refer to Bilad al-Sham, the modern Syria, as many cooks from that region migrated to the wealthy Mughal Empire of South Asia during the Middle Ages.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shami kebab | Traditional Ground Meat Dish From Lucknow | TasteAtlas". www.tasteatlas.com. Archived from the original on 8 June 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  2. ^ Stein, Rick. "Sami Kebabs". BBC. Archived from the original on 9 February 2023. Retrieved 8 February 2023.
  3. ^ Petrina Verma Sarkar (10 December 2014). "Shami Kabab". About.com. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ "Shami kebab without frills". The Tribune. 3 December 2006. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2019.