Readers, I am thrilled to share my first published recipe of shami kebab for TASTE where I will be the first Cook in Residence!
TASTE is a fantastic online food magazine launched by Penguin Random House to highlight America’s rapidly evolving food culture. Under their brand new In Residence program, residents will be given the resources, and time to create art in their chosen medium. I am incredibly honored to be standing alongside Maya Erikson, Baker In Residence, pastry chef at Langbaan; and working with TASTE’s outstanding editorial staff to produce a series of stories spotlighting Pakistani food and culture.
My first story and recipe is on my favorite variety of kebabs – shami kebab. While in Pakistan, I would take them for granted, after moving overseas, I realized that no other kebab served at restaurants compares.
The term, ‘kebab’ is a bit of a misnomer. Shami kebab is a delicate fried patty that’s made with boneless beef chuck and chana daal minced together, and infused with a punchy spice blend.
While they are often served as a side during dinner, my mother would also fry them as a snack, either by itself or in the form of a sandwich. They definitely takes some time to prepare but a shami kebab is always worth the effort.
- 1 lb boneless beef chuck trimmed and roughly diced
- 1/3 cup yellow split peas soaked overnight
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 inch ginger knob peeled and finely diced
- 1 red onion roughly chopped, plus ½ red onion, finely diced
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 5 dried round whole red peppers available at Indian/Pakistani specialty stores
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 slice white bread wet lightly under a splash of water
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tbsp cilantro finely diced
- 1 green chili finely diced
- In a large stock pot, add all ingredients up until the white bread (with the exception of ½ finely diced red onion) and 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Drop heat to a simmer and cook until the water disappears and the lentils are fall-apart soft, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, fold the bread into the beaten egg. Add garam masala powder, diced cilantro, chili, and red onion. Set aside.
- Once the meat and lentils are ready, remove the cardamom and cinnamon with a slotted spoon. Place the mixture in a food processor and mince till it has an even consistency and you cannot tell the lentils and meat apart.
- Add minced meat to the bread-egg mixture. Mix well until an even consistency is achieved.
- Take small fistfuls of the mixture and flatten them into slim patties.
- Heat oil in a shallow nonstick frying pan. Place patties in pan and fry each side till it's a deep brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.