Shaami Kababs

I’ll be honest, these kababs were one of the few dishes I missed when I gave up meat. They were made with mutton (goat) at home, and served with spicy coriander chutney. My brother and I could easily finish at least a dozen in one go. Luckily, one of my cousins had given up meat for a brief period a few years ago and my aunt (her mother), had come up with this wonderful alternative. When made well, you can’t tell the difference.

So you need:

For the kababs
Black chickpeas (Kala Chana) 150 gms
Ginger 5″ piece
Onion 2 medium
Cardamom 3-4 pods
Bay Leaf 2 leaves
Cloves 3-4 pieces
Black Pepper (whole) 1 teaspoon
Oil (vegetable or something that doesn’t have a distinct taste) For frying
Mint leaves Few sprigs
Lemon 1
For the chutney
Coriander leaves (cleaned and destalked) 200 grams
Tomato 1 small
Garlic 3 cloves
Green Chillies to taste



For the kababs:

As we don’t get pre boiled beans in India, soak the chana overnight, then pressure cook with ginger, onion, cardamom, bay leaf, cloves and black pepper with a cup of water. Add salt according to your preference. Even in the pressure cooker this might take a while so be patient. It usually takes between 10 and 12 whistles in my house, but you can always take it off after 5-6 and check if it’s cooked. When it is cooked you’ll be able to squash the chana with a spoon quite easily. Remember to let the steam out of the pressure cooker before you open it. Once it has been cooked check to see how much water is in the cooker. The chana needs to be completely dry so if there is still water left, just cook it on medium heat without the cover and let the remaining water evaporate. After that, set it aside leave it to cool.

You’ll need a blender for the next part. Add the chana to the blender (make sure you don’t over lead it) and pulse till it’s a smooth mixture. This would also be a great time to check the taste, if it requires more salt you can add it now. It is now time to make the kababs. With your hands make a small tikiyas (cakes) with the mixture, it shouldn’t be too small or too big. Make as many as you need, the remaining mixture can be frozen as it is or in small tikiyas (cakes).

Heat some oil in a shallow frying pan, medium heat, once the oil is hot add the tikiyas to the frying pan, gently, so you don’t splash the oil. Again, too much oil and the kabab will crumble, too little and it will burn. IF you are looking for a low cal option, you could also bake them with a little coat of oil. Lower the heat once you’ve added the kababs and flip them after 2-3 minutes. Fry them all till they’re a nice dark brown.

Garnish with onions and mint leaves.

For the chutney:
Chop the tomato into six pieces, add all the ingredients into the blender with a little salt. Blend till smooth, add lemon to taste.


So there you go, totally cruelty free and absolutely delicious. Organic ingredients might cost more but they are definitely better for you. So be kind to yourself and to the environment.

I usually freeze these kababs (they can be frozen for up to 2 weeks) and quickly fry it when I can’t be bothered cooking something else. It goes really well with just roti or daal chawal or even with bread for breakfast.

Here is the nutritional information (without the oil) for the kababs:

  • Calories 199.3
  • Total Fat 2.4 g
  • Saturated Fat 0.3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • Sodium 10.9 mg
  • Potassium 505.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 37.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber 9.0 g
  • Sugars 4.1 g
  • Protein 9.4 g
  • Vitamin A 0.5 %
  • Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  • Vitamin B-6 15.1 %
  • Vitamin C 19.4 %
  • Vitamin D 0.0 %
  • Vitamin E 2.6 %
  • Calcium 7.3 %
  • Copper 19.8 %
  • Folate 43.2 %
  • Iron 15.1 %
  • Magnesium 14.5 %
  • Manganese 53.5 %
  • Niacin 3.3 %
  • Pantothenic Acid 4.3 %
  • Phosphorus 19.4 %
  • Riboflavin 5.0 %
  • Selenium 6.0 %
  • Thiamin 11.1 %
  • Zinc 10.6 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.





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