Shammii kebabs—flattened-and-fried patties of minced meat and lentils, not skewered and grilled chunks—are popular throughout India and Pakistan. Think of them as a cross between hamburger steaks and croquettes. Goat is the traditional meat used in making them, and it’s Nashville chef Maneet Chauhan’s personal favorite. “Last week, for my birthday, [my husband] Vivek made sure there was a fridge full for me,” she says. For her newest Music City restaurant, Chaatable, she’s planning a lamb version. (“Goat is tougher to find,” she explains.) Enjoy the kebabs simply sauced with cilantro chutney or sandwich them inside slider buns.
Food & Drink
Maneet Chauhan’s Spiced Lamb Patties
The Nashville chef shares a recipe from her newest restaurant, Chaatable: Shammii Kebabs
photo: Daniel C. Rivera
3 ¼ oz. chana dal, soaked in cold water for about an hour (split yellow chickpea lentils, available here)
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves
2 oz. fresh ginger, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (plus more for frying)
1 lb. lamb mince (ground lamb)
1 tsp. salt, divided
3 fresh green chiles, roughly chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tsp. garam masala
½ tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 lime, juice only
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. plain flour
For the Filling
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 lime, juice only
1 fresh green chili, finely chopped
1 handful mint leaves, finely shredded
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
Drain the chana dal and set aside.
Put the onions, garlic, ginger, and two tbsp. water in a food processor and blend to a paste.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion paste, and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the lamb and chana dal, pour over enough water to just cover the meat (roughly 14 fl. oz.), add ½ tsp. salt, partially cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes then remove the lid and cook for 5–10 minutes more, or until the meat is just starting to brown and stick to the the bottom of the pan. It’s important that any excess moisture has evaporated. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool for about 15 minutes.
Place the cooled lamb mixture into a food processor and blend into a smooth paste. Add the chiles, cilantro, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, the remaining ½ tsp. salt, and lime juice to the lamb mixture and blend again, then gradually add enough of the egg to bind the mixture without making it too wet. Transfer the mix into a bowl and stir in the flour.
In a separate bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients and drain off any excess liquid.
To shape the kebabs, wet your hands and divide the mixture into about 16–20 portions. Shape one portion into a patty about 1½ inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Spoon three-quarters of a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the patty and draw the edges around and filling to form a ball. Then, carefully, flatten it into a 1/2-inch thick patty. Repeat. Refrigerate patties for an hour.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Fry the patties in batches for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and cooked through. Remove the patties from the pan and add the lime quarters for 1–2 minutes until warm.
Sprinkle the kebabs with salt and serve with lime wedges, red onion rings, and green chutney on the side.
Recipe from chef Maneet Chauhan of Chaatable, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Tansuo, and The Mockingbird in Nashville, Tennessee.
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