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Lamb Kebab Recipes

Updated on August 7, 2015
Skewer grilled meat
Skewer grilled meat

What are kebabs?

Kebabs (also known as kababs or kabobs) are a wide variety of meat dishes (usually lamb or goat meat) which have their origin in the southwest and south Asia. Different varieties of kebabs have gained immense popularity all over the world and are a "must try" in the Indian restaurants. Various cooking techniques are used to cook kebabs, like grilling over coal fire in skewers, baking, pan frying or deep frying. These were one of the most favourite non-vegetarian appetizers of the Mughal emporers and bear a long history of evolution. In US kebabs are usually referred to the Turkish version of Shish kebab, which means "skewer with grilled meat".

History of kebabs: In earlier days horse back riders used to kill animals, clean and cut it into pieces, thread them around their daggers or swords and cook over open fire. These dry-cooked meat chunks were called kebabs which has evolved with time and region into the present day charcoal-grilled or deep fried meat. Meat pieces have been replaced by minced meat for a better melt-in-the-mouth taste.

There are a lot of varieties of kebabs, and I have chosen the ones which are easier to make and requires lesser preparation time.

How do kebabs taste in general?

Kebabs are hot, spicy and enticing to look at when served with sauce or chutney. Though made of meat, they instantly melt in your mouth leaving a scrumptious taste and a craving for more!

General Cooking tips:

  • In all these recipes, minced meat (lamb or goat) should be bought, and after mixing all the required ingredients, blending once again in the mixer gives the desired smooth paste.
  • In some cases, tenderizers are used in the recipe such as raw green papaya pasteĀ or yoghurt. In some other cases, the minced meat is boiled in water to tenderize the meat.
  • Marination in the refrigerator for at least one hour is essential in the preparation of kebabs.

Shammi Kebab
Shammi Kebab
whole spices for the hot spice extract (native name:garam masala)
whole spices for the hot spice extract (native name:garam masala)
Dried red chillies
Dried red chillies

Recipe for Shammi kebab

Shammi kebabs are flat shaped delicious amalgamation of minced meat and Bengal gram / chick pea paste.

Cooking technique: Deep frying in clarified butter or refined oil

Ingredients you will need:

  • Minced mutton or lamb (500 g)
  • Eggs (2)
  • Medium sized onion finely chopped (one)
  • Green chillies chopped (2-3)
  • Bengal gram (chana) or chick pea soaked overnight (100 g)
  • Cardamom (4)
  • Cinnamon (an inch long stick)
  • Cumin seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Garlic (10 pods)
  • Ginger (an inch long)
  • Peppercorns (6)
  • Red dried chillies (2)
  • Clarifed butter (ghee) (will be available in Indian stores) or any other refined oil
  • Salt to taste

The procedure:

  1. First the minced meat is boiled in 3 cups of water, adding some salt until the meat is tenderized.
  2. Then the meat is ground to a fine paste in a blender.
  3. Also grind the mixture of garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, dried red chillies, peppercorns, cumin seeds and the soaked chick pea (called chana dal in native language) into a fine paste.
  4. Both the pastes have to be mixed well.
  5. Then beat the eggs into the paste mixture and mix it well to form an uniform dough.
  6. The finely chopped onions and green chillies are also mixed well into the dough.
  7. Little portion of the dough is taken at a time and shaped into flattened balls or kebabs as in the picture.
  8. Finally deep fry the kebabs in oil till crispy golden brown.
  9. Garnish with chopped coriander or cilantro leaves and serve hot with tomato sauce or mint coriander chutney (recipe given later).

Hot crispy shammi kebabs are ready! It will taste even better if fresh lime juice is sprinkled over the kebabs before serving.

Possible variations: The whole recipe can be replicated with minced chicken as well to make chicken shammi kebab.

Sheekh Kebab
Sheekh Kebab
mint-coriander chutney
mint-coriander chutney

Recipe for Sheekh kebab

Sheekh kebabs are sausage-shaped skewer grilled minced meat mixed with a whole lot of Indian condiments and spices rendering a mouth-watering taste.

Cooking technique: Grilling on coal fire or barbecue using skewers

Ingredients for sheekh kebabs:

  • Minced lamb or mutton (500 g)
  • Finely chopped medium sized onion (one) and 2-3 chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon/lime
  • Yoghurt (2 tablespoons)
  • Garlic and ginger pastes (1 teaspoonful each)
  • Cardamom (4), cinnamon (one inch long), dried red chillies (2), cumin seeds (1 tsp) all mixed and ground to paste with a little water (natives call "garam masala" paste)
  • Vegetable or any other refined oil
  • Salt to taste

The procedure:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well using your hands or a wooden paddle, I prefer hand for better mixing.
  2. Cover the bowl with a cling film and refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour
  3. After removing from the refrigerator, divide the entire mixture into equal portions and each portion is formed into long sausage-like kebabs while pressing onto a skewer. Rub a little oil before doing this in order to avoid meat sticking to your palms.
  4. Once the meat firmly adheres to the skewers, brush them well with oil and grill over coal fire
  5. Turn the kebabs occasionally to ensure the meat is done
  6. Serve the hot kebabs with mint-coriander chutney

How to make the mint-coriander chutney?

You will need:

  • one bunch fresh mint leaves washed and finely chopped (about 100 g);
  • one bunch fresh cilantro washed and finely chopped (about 100 g),
  • garlic (5 cloves),
  • ginger (1 inch long),
  • green chillies (2),
  • sugar (1 tsp),
  • salt (1/2 tsp),
  • lemon juice (2 tsp)

Procedure: Just mix all of the ingredients and grind to a smooth paste in a blender. Then chill in the regrigerator and serve with kebabs.

Galouti Kebab
Galouti Kebab
mace powder (native name: Javithri) added for a subtle flavour
mace powder (native name: Javithri) added for a subtle flavour
green raw papaya (The papain helps in breaking down the protein in the meat)
green raw papaya (The papain helps in breaking down the protein in the meat)

Recipe for Galouti kebab

Galouti kebab is one of the most delicate kebabs from South Asia and there is a funny history attached to this dish. This was made for the Emperor or Nawab of Lucknow, in India who had weak teeth and could not eat meat otherwise. This kebab is a part of most traditional "Awadh cuisine", originating in Awadh region of Lucknow.

Cooking technique: Deep frying in oil or clarified butter (ghee)

The ingredients you will require:

  • Minced lamb or mutton (goat meat) (500 g)
  • Ginger (one inch long)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • 4 tablespoon raw green papaya paste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder or 2 red chillies ground to powder
  • 1/2 tsp mace powder
  • 4 tbsp Bengal gram flour (chick pea flour)
  • Oil or clarified butter (ghee) for deep frying
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • Salt to taste

The procedure:

  1. Grind garlic and ginger to a paste.
  2. Mix all the ingredients (including the minced meat) well except for the oil for frying and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. When removed from the fridge, take little portions from the dough and form flattened balls or patties
  4. Deep fry in the preheated oil until golden brown
  5. This can be served hot with cut onion rings and mint-coriander chutney.

Happy Hubbing!
Happy Hubbing!

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