I love Middle Eastern food and think their kabobs are the best! When I was pregnant with my son, I had developed an aversion to chicken and even the smell of it made me want to throw up. Hence cooking chicken at home was a definite No No. Then one day we came across this Pakistani restaurant close to the apartment where we lived at that time and the lovely aroma coming out of that small place made me stop there and so we packed Dal, rice and a platter of seekh kababs! Oh boy was that one lovely dinner or what? …I ate like a pig in a long time! (Btw I started just writing this post without meaning it to be a Mother’s day post and then realized that this could be actually a good Mother’s day post after all since it has my pregnancy reference ! – So Happy Mother’s day to all of you ! 🙂 So over the years I have tried to make kababs but I found making them in that seekh kabob shape to be challenging as they would invariably fall apart. I have also seen recipes where the ground chicken (keema) is first cooked with the spices and then further minced a second time through a food processor to get a really fine paste. then egg or cooked lentils can be used to bind the paste together . But you know me, right? Although I don’t always shy away from a difficult recipe, whenever possible I am also looking to make things easier for myself.! So I came up with this small rounded patty version and later on learnt that these rounded version of kabobs are called ‘shaami kababs'(although traditionally they are also first cooked and then made into rounded shapes and grilled further). So Shaami or Seekh kababs, whatever..what’s in a name! These are so delectable that I don’t care what anyone calls them. They are perfect as an appetizer especially when you have a large gathering (always a huge crowd pleaser! ) or for a simple home meal accompanied with rice and dal, which is how my family loves to eat it. As for me, in my paleo life now, I love to have these with a salad or as a wrap with my homemade cassava tortillas!
I put green chillies in these because my husband and I both like the kick that it gives when you bite into one of those:) However for those with a ‘not so adventurous’ palate , I recommend that you skip these! For those on AIP elimination phase, I have indicated in the recipe below the spices that you will need to omit.
You can make these either as long cylinders/logs on skewers in the oven or make them into little patties and shallow fry them in a pan.
Recipe is now updated to show AIP version. And I have also included method to bake these in the oven. Check out my video too if you want to see how I make these!
Btw, I also sometimes add this kebab masala spice blend instead of garam masala and this makes the kebabs even more delicious because this spice mix is a Pakistani blend which has some really aromatic spices!
- 1 lbs organic ground chicken, thawed completely at room temperature
- ½ medium size red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger (about 2 inch by 2 inch piece)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic(about 8-10 cloves)
- 2 serrano chillies,finely chopped (Omit for AIP )
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves,finely chopped
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper / Kashmiri red chilli powder( omit for AIP)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp dry mango powder (or ¼ cup finely chopped green mangoes) - optional
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) - optional
- 1 tsp freshly roasted cumin powder(omit for AIP)
- 1 tsp coriander powder (omit for AIP)
- 1 tsp lime or lemon juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- About ¾ cup coconut oil for shallow frying or grilling
- Take the ground chicken in a large mixing bowl. (Make sure it is completely thawed and make sure to dab dry with paper towel to remove any excess water)
- Next add all the other ingredients into the bowl with the chicken. (Make sure you have chopped everything really really fine and the onions didn't let out water!)
- Then using a spatula or your hands mix the chicken with all the spices and the other ingredients so that it is uniformly mixed.
- Preheat oven to 450 Deg F (or 220 C).
- Line a baking tray with Al foil and oil it well with coconut oil.
- Oil your hands well and Take a portion of the chicken mixture and shape into a long thick cylinder/log. Insert the metal skewer into the center of the log and place on the pan. repeat as necessary. Place tray in the oven and bake for 15 mins at 450 F (220 C). Then take out and flip to the other side and bake for another 5-7 mins until both sides are golden brown. Take out of the oven and keep covered in foil until serving!
- Heat a large frying pan with about 2 tbsp of the coconut oil (for shallow frying) and then make about 1 inch thick rounded patties of the ground mixture and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes on one side and then flipping them to cook on the other side for an additional 2 mins or so. (Make sure you do not overcook them or they will get hard on top!) Remove onto plate with paper towel to drain off excess oil.
Do not overcook the kabobs or the outer covering will become thick. You should remove them as soon as they are done and keep covered in Al foil until serving to keep them moist and succulent inside.
Fresh cilantro,lime and cumin I believe are the three main ingredients in this and so the other spices you can add per your taste. Use freshly roasted cumin powder for the best taste by roasting cumin seeds in a pan for a couple minutes and then grinding them.