Shami kebabs Recipe (Easy Instant Pot)

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5 from 5 votes

The Shami kebab is the ultimate side dish made with split chickpeas (Chana dal) and juicy tender chicken pieces. These dark golden patties pair with mint chutney or ketchup, giving you a more flavorful experience. In this recipe, I will share how to make succulent, subtle, and juicy shami kebabs without any vigorous effort. 

shami kebabs

If you’re a Pakistani or Indian, you know that Shami kebabs are like a staple recipe.I always keep the mixture ready for Shami kebabs before any occasion. Serving these silky kebab patties to guests brings a sense of bliss for me, knowing that all enjoy them.

In Ramadan, I do my utmost to craft Shami kebabs for Iftar time; after all, these goodies are always liked by everyone in my home. Like Vegetable Pakoras, Shami patties are a cherished recipe with significant value. 

Shami kebab is a versatile recipe; you can serve it with an evening family tea time or with any of your main dishes like chana pulao. 

Why Shami Kabab Recipe Will Win Your Heart?

  • Best Umami Taste: Because of chicken pieces and split chickpeas (Dal Chana) the Shami kababs hold a more umami and savory taste. Plus, these patties’ softness and succulent bites will always stratify your palates. 
  • Easy To Fry: Ahh, I loathe frying. But when it comes to frying Shami Patties, I often snatch the spoon from my mother and do the stuff myself. These kebabs are so easy to fry; even if you don’t need a wok for this, just a tawa (griddle) is the best deal to fry the Shami patties. 
  • Freezer Friendly: Shami kebabs are not only easy to fry but also freezer friendly; you can store their masala (dough) for months in your freezer, a real-lifesaver recipe. So whenever someone drops in at my home, I always have something special for them to serve.

More About Shami kebabs?

Shami kebabs recipe

The Shami kebabs hold a prime spot among some of the classical treats. The word Shami refers to “Syria,” and this is the region where this recipe came from. This kebab recipe got huge attention and fame in the era of the Mughals.

This recipe, influenced by the Middle East, is a real gem. It’s crafted with meat and lentil (split chickpeas). Mostly, this classical side dish is made with beef meat, but you know, there’s no strict rule here. Instead of beef, you can switch it up with chicken or mutton.

Typically, in a mixture of Shami kabab, we use traditional spices like dry coriander, paprika powder, red chili flakes, cumin seeds, etc. Still, based on your taste, there is much room for substitutions. 


shami kebabs ingredients
  • Chicken: Currently, I don’t have any plan to store Shami Kebabs in my freezer. That’s why I’m just using a very small amount of chicken. I’m using a mix of boneless and bone-in chicken (Afterwards, I’ll remove the bones from the meat). I prefer small pieces of chicken that mix perfectly with the Shami kebab masala. 
  • Split Chickpea (Chana Dal): Regarding lentils, the dal Chana is mostly used in making Shami kebabs. 
  • Onions: This mandatory ingredient makes the kebabs savory and juicy. You can use a food processor to chop the onions, but I did it with a knife. 
  • Green Chilies & Cilantro: Everybody wants to get that fresh veggie smell from the kebabs, and for this purpose, I’m using fresh cilantro. Green chilies are also crucial to make the flavor spice and fiery. You can amp up the green chilies if you love more tangy Shami kebab patties. 
  • Whole Spices: I’m using some of the traditional spices; these are easily available in every kitchen. These spices include paprika powder, Red chili flakes, cumin seeds, carom seed (ajowan), and black pepper.

Let’s Make These Shami Kababs

  1. Boil The Lentils & Chicken: Take a pressure cooker or Instant Pot and add the split chickpeas and chicken. Add water and boil it for 30 minutes. In my case, I’m using a pressure cooker that takes 30 minutes to boil both ingredients. In the case of Instant Pot, it might take less time. 
  1. Remove The Chicken: After boiling the chicken and lentils, remove the chicken from the cooker and separate the bones from the meat. Are you using boneless chicken? Cheers! There is no need to follow these extra steps. Just make sure that the chicken pieces are minced perfectly. 
chicken pieces
  1. Preparing Shami kebab Masala: Now, in the same pressure cooker, add the chopped onions, chicken, green chiles, and cilantro. Stir it well for one minute, and then toss all the spices. Next, you have to mince and crush all the stuff with the back side of the spoon. Keep crushing and mixing this medley until you get a rough and stable dough. 
add green chilis
adding ground spices
  1. Make The Patties: Let the mixture cool down for at least 10 – 15 minutes after that, start making patties of Shami kebabs. I prefer applying oil on your hands before shaping the patties to prevent them from sticking.
shami kabab mixture
make shami kebabs
  1. Beat The Egg: Then, whisk an egg, and we’ll use that beaten egg to coat the patties, preventing them from sticking to the pan. The egg adds extra flavor and gives the kababs a smoother texture.
  1. Let’s Fry: Heat the oil in a frying pan (Tawa), and dip the patties in the whisked egg. Now, gently transfer the patties to the frying pan. Avoid frying many patties at a time; I prefer to fry four at a time. Fry the one side for 3 minutes on medium heat, and then turn it upside down with a spatula and fry the other side for three more minutes. Repeat the process, and your Shami kebabs are now ready to serve. 
dip in egg
fry patties

How To Make Patties Round Without Breaking?

  • The first thing you must ensure is the right consistency of the Shami kebab mixture. It should not be too wet or soft; a firm and subtle consistency will help you to get a nice and clean round shape of shami kebabs. 
  • I always leave the mixture in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes; this helps achieve consistency and cohesiveness. 
  • Before shaping your shami kabab patties, always remember to rub a little oil on your hands. This simple trick prevents the mixture from sticking to your palms, making it much easier to mold perfect, round patties without any hassle.
  • Be Gentle! Don’t apply too much force on the patties to make them thin. Thinner kabob patties always break, giving you a sense of disappointment. I usually use my palm to gently smooth the edges. 
  • Oh! Another life-saving tip is to never transfer the Shami kebab patties to a cold frying pan because, in this case, the patties will stick to the bottom. First, heat the oil for 2 – 3 minutes and then transfer the kebab tikkies to that oil. 
  • Always apply a whisk egg on the patties to firm them. This egg will also prevent tikkies from being stick to the frying pan. Also, use a spatula to gently turn the tikkies.

What Type Of Meat Should You Use For Shami kebab?

shami kababs

There is no hard and fast rule of using meat in Shami kebab. I personally don’t care too much about it. But if you’re a traditionalist and want to follow the same classical way of making Shami kebabs, then I recommend you to follow with the beef meat. 

But if you can’t get beef, the chicken breast and thigh is also the best option. I’m big on chicken; you know it’s a time saver, cooks instantly in a pressure cooker, and is softer and more tender. 

If you’re stuck with beef, I prefer low-fat meat because the fats release moisture in the mixture that breaks the kebab while frying. 

Beef Stew VS Ground Meat 

The simple answer is when you use minced or ground meat; it won’t make a cohesive mixture that holds together. Even though I didn’t try it, my grandmother told me this.

Ground beef also leaves a lot of moisture in the mixture, which loosens the mixture, and you won’t be able to make firm shami kebab patties. That’s why instead of using ground meat, always opt for meat chunks for a nice silky texture. 


I know how frustrating it is when moisture comes into the Shami kebab Mixture. But you don’t need to fret; there is a solution to fix that. Simply add some bread crumbs to the mixture and then mix it well. The breadcrumbs will soak up all the excess moisture, giving you a perfect, subtle consistency.

Shami kebabs are freezer-friendly; you can freeze them for 3 – 4 months. Here, I’m talking about the mixture, not the fried kebabs. To freeze the mixture, simply transfer it to a mixing bowl and place it in the freezer. To thaw the mixture, simply keep it overnight at room temperature. Alternatively, you can reheat them directly from frozen by placing them in a preheated oven or microwave until heated through.

Absolutely! You can whip up some shami kebabs in an air fryer. Just pop them in, set the temperature to around 375°F (190°C), and let them cook for 10-15 minutes. Give ’em a flip halfway through. When they’re golden brown and cooked through, they’re good to go!

The two main ingredients that make the shami kebabs more tangy and spicy are Paprika powder and red chili powder. Simply bump up the quantity of these spices. Also, increase the number of green chilies to get more heat. 

Can I Use Any Other Kind Of Daal For This Recipe? 

The split chickpea (Chana Daal) is the only lentil that gives a silky texture that I call a “rashe dar” in Urdu. This daal has more fibers and protein that help the mixture to become cohesive. 

Shami kebabs Are More Versatile?

Unlike the Chapli kebabs, the Shami kebabs can be used in buns (bun kebabs), wraps, and sandwiches, or you can even make a perfect Shami Burger with these kebabs. Due to their versatility, I always keep a batch of Shami kebab mixture in my fridge.

You can also prepare a large batch of Shami Kebabs for long-term use. That way, whenever unexpected guests pop in, you can simply grab the mixture from the freezer and fry up some fresh kebabs for them.

What To Serve With Shami Kebabs?

shami kebabs

Shami kebabs Recipe

The Shami kebab is the ultimate side dish with split chickpeas (Chana dal) and juicy tender chicken pieces. These dark golden patties pair with mint chutney or ketchup, giving you a more flavorful experience.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4


  • 300 grams Chicken
  • 300 grams Split Chickpea (Dal Chana)
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Green Chilies
  • Cilantro
  • ½ tbsp Paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp Red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Dry Coriander powder
  • ½ tbsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Carom seeds
  • ½ tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Egg


  • First add the chicken and split chickpeas (Daal Chana) in a pressure cooker. Add water and pressure cook for 30 minutes. 
  • After boiling the chicken and lentils, I remove the chicken from the cooker and carefully separate the bones from the meat. Oh, and by the way, are you using boneless chicken? If yes, no worries! You can skip this extra step. Just make sure the chicken pieces are minced perfectly.
  • Now, I toss in the chopped onions, chicken, green chiles, and cilantro in my same pressure cooker. After stirring for a minute, I add all the spices. Then, I use the back of my spoon to mince and crush everything. Keep mixing until you get a dry and firm mixture. Transfer that mixture to a bowl and leave it at room temperature for 15 minutes. 
  • It's time to make patties. I recommend applying oil to your hands before shaping to prevent sticking. Next, beat an egg. We'll use it to coat the patties, keeping them from sticking to the pan.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan (Tawa), dip the patties in the beaten egg, and transfer to the pan. Fry in batches of 4 patties for 3 minutes on each side over medium heat. Flip with a spatula. Repeat until golden brown. Your Shami kebabs are ready to serve!


Keyword Shami Kababs, Shami Kebabs
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  1. These were so good! Perfectly spiced, easy to make and healthy too. Our family absolutely loved them and they were just as good leftover for lunch the next day. Great recipe!5 stars

  2. I can’t wait to make these flavor packed and fabulous Shami kebabs. They truly are the perfect side dish.5 stars

  3. Love this Shami kebab recipe, I have never try it before but looks delicious and easy to make. Will make them soon. Thanks for sharing 🙂5 stars

5 from 5 votes

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