Shahi Kebab Appetizer
The ‘Shahi Kebab’ is a relatively common restaurant offering and generally consists of highly spiced ground lamb or beef that is then grilled, or sometimes fried or baked, in a sausage shape around a long skewer. The word ‘shahi’ is Hindi for ‘royal’ and the term is vague enough to allow for almost any combination of ingredients to fit the description. This particular recipe was inspired by the very nice, and similarly named Seekh Kabab at the Shafali Restaurant in Ottawa.
Ingredient Notes for this Shahi Kebab Recipe
If you have a look at the Wikipedia definition of Kebab, you will find that it has a much wider range of culinary expressions than the skewered meat chunks most westerners expect. All across the ‘kebab’ world, from Turkey, through the Middle East, to India and Pakistan, lamb is the primary choice but beef and chicken are also used; sometimes in large pieces, other times smaller chunks, and, quite often minced, or ground. Here, I am using ground Beef, but you can replace it with anything you like.
The Recipe Card below calls for 2 Tablespoons of my Homemade Chili-Garlic-Ginger Paste. This is simple to make in a large batch and keeps well, but if you are not inclined to do that, you can just replace it with two teaspoons each of Garlic Paste, Ginger Paste, and Chili Paste.
The recipe also requires dried Methi, a.k.a Fenugreek Leaf. If you haven’t used it before, you should be able to find it easily in any Indian grocery.
How to make Shahi Kebab
First, prepare the dry spice blend: Individually toast the coriander, cumin, poppy and fennel seeds in a dry pan and grind them with the cloves, the peppercorns, and the seeds from the black cardamom. Sift the result to remove any hard fragments and then mix in a small bowl along with the salt, sugar, red pepper powder, cardamom powder and fenugreek leaf. Set this aside for now.
Put the meat and the Chili-Ginger-Garlic paste into a bowl and blend the two together well with your hands. Next, take a wooden spoon and begin stirring the mixture in one direction only until it all becomes sticky. Once this happens, take the mass from the bowl and throw it back in forcefully several times. Now, add the dry spice blend.
Beat the egg, and add it to the meat and spice mixture along with the flour. Begin stirring again (one direction only) until everything is nicely incorporated. Now, divide the mixture into two separate balls and put them on a platter. Pop this into the freezer and leave it there for about twenty minutes so that it firms up and is easier to handle.
Next, form the two balls of meat into long sausage shapes around two skewers and grill them over a medium flame until cooked through.
For service, slice each sausage obliquely and plate along with a dip or chutney.
Your Recipe Card:
Shahi Kebab Appetizer
- 1 lb ground Beef use regular, not lean;
- 1 Egg;
- 1 ½ tbsp. Flour use Besan, or chickpea flour, if possible;
- 2 tbsp. Chili-Ginger-Garlic Paste;
- 1 tbsp. Coriander Seed;
- 1 tbsp. Cumin Seed;
- 1 tbsp. White Poppy Seed;
- 1 tsp. Fennel Seed;
- 2 Cloves;
- 1 tsp. Black Peppercorns;
- 1 Black Cardamom pod;
- 1 ½ tsp. powdered Red Chili Pepper;
- ½ tsp. powdered Green Cardamom powder;
- 1 tbsp. dried Fenugreek Leaf Methi;
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 1 tsp. Salt.
- Individually toast the coriander, cumin, poppy and fennel seeds in a dry pan and grind them with the cloves, the peppercorns, and the seeds from the black cardamom.
- Sift the above mix to remove any hard fragments, and then stir in the salt, sugar, red pepper powder, cardamom powder and fenugreek leaf.
- Mix the meat with the Chili-Garlic-Ginger Paste and stir well in one direction only until the mixture becomes sticky.
- Beat the egg, and add it to the meat and spice mixture along with the flour, stirring well (one direction only) until everything is nicely incorporated.
- Form the meat into two separate balls and, if desired, place in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to allow the meat to firm up for easier handling.
- Form each ball into a sausage shape around a skewer, and grill over medium heat until cooked through.
- Slice each sausage obliquely and serve with a dip or chutney.