This recipe for beef kebabs was originally posted in March 2017. When I remade them recently, I realized it needed a bit more work. Here's a new and improved version of Saptarshi's famous kebabs.
On February 26 2017, Saptarshi and I hosted the first "Pakistan Eats" supper club in our new home.
Since the beginning of "Pakistan Eats," I have tested and shared the recipes on the blog with my friends and family in D.C. Sharing a laugh over a home cooked meal on a routine basis has been the most rewarding part about the blog. So I wanted to continue the tradition in Mexico but take the idea further, and test different menu courses.
In Pakistan, even formal dinners rarely have multiple sequenced courses. With the exception of dessert, all dishes are served at the same time, family style. You have everything mashed up together on a plate, and while it's one tasty plate, you never pay each dish the individual respect it deserves.
For our first supper club, we decided to stick with the classics, and so our four-course menu was:
Beef kebabs with green chutney / Dahi baingan (deep fried eggplant in savory yogurt) with fresh greens / Chicken biryani / Cucumber raita / Sujji ka halwa (semolina pudding)
Kebabs hold a special place on the Pakistani table (see this menu planning guide). While at home, kebabs will typically be pan-fried, here we served a grilled version to pay homage to Pakistani BBQ.
If you ever visit Pakistan, don't leave without having BBQ (sorry vegetarians). Pakistanis across regions take special pride in their meats, either slowly roasted or fired up on the grill.
This recipe of the beef kebab tastes similar to seekh (skewered) kebab. Seekh kebab I like to think is the workhorse of BBQ. While it will never be the star of the table, it's ever-present because it's easy to prepare, filling, delicious and versatile. Of course, seekh kebabs are by no means unique to Pakistan. You'll find dozens of variations of skewered kebabs in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan among others.
If you don't have access to the grill and are craving kebabs, you can also prepare them in the oven. After pre-heating the oven, I broiled them for about 12 minutes. While they lacked the smokey flavor, they were still delicious. Give it a try!
Ground Beef Kebabs Recipe
- ½ medium-sized yellow onion roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 Thai bird’s eye chilies roughly chopped
- 1 pound (~ 450 grams) ground beef drained
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder preferably Kashmiri
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Put the roughly chopped onions, cilantro, and chilies in a food processor and grind until finely chopped.
- Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Add salt and ground spices (garam masala powder, red chili powder, black pepper, cumin powder) and mix well.
- Add the onion-cilantro mixture, crushed ginger and garlic, lime juice and olive oil to the ground beef. Mix well.
- Take fistfuls of the mixture, and begin to shape into little patties.
- Grill Instructions: If you are using the grill, make sure you heat it up well. The time will depend on whether you are using a charcoal or gas grill. Once hot, place kebabs on the grill and cook each side for 4-6 minutes.
- Oven Instructions: If you want to prepare them in the oven, pre-heat it to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and grease it. Place kebabs on it and then insert the sheet pan into the center rack of the oven. Set it to broil on high heat for 10 – 15 minutes depending on how well done you like them to be (I set them for 12 minutes).
What are the names of the other dishes on the photo?
Thank you! The potatoes are Gujarati aloo: https://www.pakistaneats.com/recipes/gujarati-aloo/.
The eggplant is bagara baingan: https://www.pakistaneats.com/recipes/nevines-bagara-baingan/
The last one is a tomato chutney 🙂
Can you please amplify "1.1 lb ground beef drained?". Do you have a preferred cut of beef? What do you mean by"drained"? I assume 1.1 lb was derived from 500g?
I love reading your blog.
Hi! Thanks for your comment. For ground beef, I also buy pre-made so the preferred cut doesn't matter here. And you are correct that it's 500 grams - I live in a country where they sell meat in grams and not pounds but my readership is American so I have to adapt 🙂
By drained, I mean you need to squeeze the excess water out with your hands. Hope this helps!
Amazingly mouthwatering site! I'm going to share this site!
My kababs break apart - someone suggested using a slice of groundup bread. Any suggestions?
Thank you so much for your kind words Yusuf! I keep my kebabs relatively small to prevent that but there's a lot of techniques you can use. Breadcrumbs are a great way. Personally, I incorporate beaten egg to bind them. Good luck!
This recipe sounds amazing. I'm definitely going try it. (I'm from the UK so had to Google the weight in grams lol)
I made these kebabs without birds eye chillies
Delicious kebabs ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Many thanks for this delicious recipe
What a lovely comment to receive! Thank you so much for trying the recipe, and taking the time to leave this nice review!!