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Shami Kebab

Course Side Dish, Snack
Servings 6


  • 1 lb boneless beef chuck trimmed and roughly diced
  • 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 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 slice white bread wet lightly under a splash of water
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon 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.


To freeze: Carefully place the raw patties inside Tupperware, and store in the freezer for up to one month. My mother recommends placing them on a tray and freezing them first, and then transferring them to Tupperware or a Ziploc bag.