Shikampuri Kebab
115 Min

Shikampuri Kebab

Originating during Mughal times in Hyderabad, Shikampuri translates as ‘bellyful’ in Urdu, meaning that these kebabs are very rich and satisfying. Usually made with lamb meat, these highly seasoned kebabs are usually fried in butter, however, in this recipe, they are baked in the oven and are just as delicious and not quite as heavy. If you substitute beef or chicken, use ground meat that has about a 20% fat content. The fat is what makes the kebabs tender. Pair them with a light green salad and cilantro chutney.
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Cook Time

115 minutes + soak & refrigeration time



Step 1
Rinse the channa dal 2 to 3 times, then soak for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and in a stockpot, combine with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are very tender. Add more water if the mixture appears dry. Drain and set aside.
Step 2
In a food processor, combine the drained lentils with the lamb, egg, onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, red chile, garam masala, 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, cilantro, and salt. Mix until the meat is finely ground, and the mixture is almost paste like. Refrigerate the mixture for a couple of hours or up to 2 to 3 days.
Step 3
Combine the remaining yogurt with ground cumin and salt.
Step 4
When ready to make the kebabs, preheat the oven to 400°F. Keep a small bowl of water nearby to dip your hands.
Step 5
Using wet hands, take about a tablespoon of the lamb mixture, flatten the mound in your palm and stuff roughly a teaspoon of the yogurt in the middle and close the sides of the kebab. Repeat with the rest of the meat, using water to smooth your hands in between each kebab. The water will ensure that the kebab mixture does not get sticky.
Step 6
Lay the kebabs on a greased flat baking sheet and brush ghee on top of each one. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Let the kebabs rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

1/2 cup channa dal

1 pound ground lamb

1 whole large egg

1/2 cup minced onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon red chile powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves and stems, finely minced

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup thick whole milk Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

4 to 5 tablespoons of melted ghee

Fresh herbs to garnish

Notes & Variations

  • Make sure the close off the yogurt from the kebab meat or it will leach out while baking.
  • You can turn leftover kebabs into a kebab curry by making a simple base of onions and tomatoes.
  • The kebabs can be shaped and frozen for up to a week.
115 Min

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