Minced lamb & lentil patties (shami kebab)

Cook popular Indian party kebabs for Diwali made with lamb mince and lentils, seasoned with spices and sharpened with fresh coriander, ginger and chillies

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
    plus at least 3 hrs soaking, cooling and chilling
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 372
  • fat 24g
  • saturates 11g
  • carbs 13g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 23g
  • salt 0.29g


  • 80g split Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 30g ghee
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 50g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp black cumin seeds (shahi jeera), or ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp shredded mint leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • lime juice, for seasoning


  1. Put the split Bengal gram in a small heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water from the kettle and leave to soak for 3 hrs or ideally overnight, if you have the time.

  2. Melt the ghee in a flameproof casserole over a medium heat and fry the onions for 7-10 mins until starting to turn golden. Add the lamb mince. Peel the whole garlic cloves and tip these into the dish along with the ginger and cook, stirring often, for 10 mins more until any liquid from the lamb evaporates. Drain the soaked Bengal gram and add this to the dish with the chilli powder, garam masala and black cumin seeds or ground cumin.

  3. Pour over 300ml hot water to just barely cover the mince, cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 mins until the mince is tender. Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all the water has evaporated and the Bengal gram is tender. By now, the mince will be dry and crumbly in texture. Spread the mixture out on a baking tray and leave to cool completely before transferring to a large food processor.

  4. Add the beaten egg, lime juice, coriander and green chillies to the processor and blend until smooth. Using damp hands, roll the lamb mixture into about 20 walnut-sized balls. Flatten each ball in your palm into a 4cm patty (with a thickness of 1cm) using your fingers. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and chill for 30 mins.

  5. For the mint raita, mix the yogurt with the garlic, mint, cumin and sugar and add enough lime juice to sharpen the flavour. Taste for seasoning, then set aside.

  6. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and fry the kebabs in batches for 3-4 mins on each side until browned. Pour off the excess oil between batches and wipe the pan clean with kitchen towel before adding fresh oil. Drain the kebabs on kitchen paper and serve warm with the mint raita.

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