The sizzling sound in the frying pan and the aroma that surrounds is sensational while preparing Shami kababs.  AND the taste…delightful!

Kababs are immensely popular throughout Bangladesh.  There are different types of kababs and in numerous ways they can be prepared.  There is also a considerable regional variation of kababs in Bangladesh.  Amongst all, Shami kabab is the most common and immensely popular for festivals, weddings and any other celebrations or just to enjoy with the family.

Bangladeshi cuisine refers to the Bengali cuisine prevalent in Bangladesh.  Although Indian cuisine from West Bengal is also referred to as Bengali cuisine, the usage of beef greatly sets Bangladeshi cuisine apart from the cuisine in West Bengal in India. Bengali cuisine of Bangladesh incorporates many Persian-Arabic elements and Beef is an integral part of it.  Beef dishes are a must item in parties, celebrations, and banquets.  Traditionally, Shami kababs are made of minced beef, but can also be prepared with chicken or a combination of the two.

If you make a big batch like I do and freeze, the kababs are a great protein source that takes only minutes to prepare with various meal options to choose from at the end of a long working day.  Though there are several steps to making the kababs, the steps are not hard.  The best part is that the kababs freeze very well so you can make several days or weeks ahead of time if you are planning to serve at parties or family get together.  They become soggy and fall apart when completely defrosted, so fry them in medium heat within 10-15 minutes after taking out of the freezer.


Shami Kabab is a popular Kabab from Bangladesh served during festivities, wedding, Eid and other special occasions. Made of beef and split pea, shami kabab is a must try.

1 lb lean ground beef (or ground chicken)

½ cup yellow split pea(chana dal)

1 medium onion, sliced

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1 teaspoon ginger paste

8-10 black peppercorns

1 ½ spoon garam masala

2-3 dry red chili

Salt, according to taste

2 green chilies, chopped (optional)

1 ½ cups water approximately

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 eggs

1 cup oil, for frying

Soak yellow split pea (chana dal) in water for about 30 minutes.

Sautee sliced onion until golden and aromatic. Set aside.

Clean and wash ground beef and yellow split pea (chana dal). Drain all water.

Add ginger paste, garlic paste, peppercorns, garam masala, red chilies and salt.

Add water to cover the ingredients and cook on medium heat until meat and dal is tender and all the water dries up.

In a food processor, grind the cooked meat and dal to make a paste.

In a bowl, take the paste; add one egg and rest of the ingredients, including the fried onion, except oil. Mix well.

Make small, round, flat shaped kababs with the paste mixture.

Heat oil in a pan in medium heat.

Beat one egg in a separate bowl.

Dip each kabab on the beaten egg to coat well.

Fry kabab till golden brown on each side.

Add more water if meat and dal is not tender when water dries up. Instead of sautéed golden onion, the sliced onion can be added before cooking meat and dal and cooked. Ground beef can be substituted with boneless beef pieces, minced or boneless chicken pieces or a combination of ground beef and chicken. To avoid shami kabab falling apart during frying, always add egg to the kabab mix. If you do not use eggs in the kabab mix, make sure to dip each kabab in egg before frying.


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