Shammi kebab - minced lamb patties


Shammi kebabs are an extremely moist kebab made by simmering spices, chana dal and lamb mince until the chana dal are soft and the liquid has evaporated. The patties can then be deep-fried, like falafel, or cooked in a pan. They are traditionally served with a refreshing, thinly sliced raw onion salad, but thinly sliced cucumber or even radish works great as well.

Extracted from On The Himalayan Trail by Romy Gill (Hardie Grant, £27)

First published in 2022

Romy says: "There are so many different kebabs made all over India. These shammi kebabs remind me of my trip to Lucknow. I still remember how huge the queue was for the kebabs. My daughters love these too, because they are soft and moist. I always add gram flour to make sure the patties bind. Some people don’t bother with it, but I think it helps them to hold together well."





To serve



Put all the ingredients for the kebabs, except the fresh coriander, flour and oil, in a large saucepan


Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes until the chana dal is cooked and the water has reduced. If there is still a little water left, strain the mixture to eradicate any excess liquid. Leave to cool


Discard the whole spices and transfer the mixture to a food processor along with the fresh coriander. Blitz to a rough paste. Don’t turn it into a purée, as it won’t hold together properly


Add the flour, if using, and blitz to combine. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes

  • 50g of gram flour, optional

Divide the mixture into 12 equal-sized portions and shape each one into a patty


You can either shallow-fry or deep-fry the patties. For deep frying, pour the oil into a deep, heavy-based pan so that it is half full. Set the pan over medium heat

  • sunflower oil, for frying

If you have a digital thermometer, then heat the oil to 175°C. Alternatively, drop a tiny bit of the kebab mixture into the oil, to test if it is ready. If the mixture floats up, the oil is hot enough


To shallow fry, you just need to heat enough oil in a frying pan (skillet) until it is hot. Test the heat of the oil with a small piece of kebab mixture before you start to fry the patties

  • sunflower oil, for frying

Fry the patties for 3–4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan


Serve with raw sliced onions or a raita of your choice, and with lime or lemon wedges on the side for squeezing

First published in 2022

Chef Romy Gill MBE is a British/Indian chef and writer based in South-West England. She was previously the owner and head chef at Romy's Kitchen, which served dishes inspired by Punjabi and Bengali cuisine.

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