Discover Secrets of Indian home food


Lamb Kebabs


The Punjab is famed for its barbecued and grilled meats – thanks to the way these are cooked in a tandoor or clay oven. Kebabs come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes. In the absence of a tandoor – which would be great for shish kebab – I’ve made shami kebabs (little patties) which you can use your oven grill to make. 


  • 500g lamb mince (20% fat)
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 and a half tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 pinch of dried mint
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp minced chillies (I have a batch of frozen minced chillies in my fridge – always!)
  • x2 tbsp chopped coriander
Prep Time:
5-10 minutes
Cooking Time:
10 minutes
Approx. 12 kebabs
Cook’s Tip:

This is a lighter version to the ones my mum makes – as her recipe includes an egg and chickpea flour as binding agents. You must use 80:20 minced meat however. You can use beef mince if you prefer.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with tamarind sauce, and or minted yoghurt. These are great as a beer snack or a meal, served with flatbread, and salad, and perhaps some smoked aubergine bhurtha as well.


1. Grate the onion using the coarse side of a box grater in long sweeps. Place on a tea towel, then squeeze out all of the moisture. These grated onions need to be as dry as possible. Place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Next add in the cumin, salt, garam masala, minced chillies, garlic, ginger, chopped coriander, and dried mint.

3. Mix together with a fork. Take this as an uncooked ‘tarka’ as it were. Test and check the seasoning. Adjust to taste.

4. Now mix the minced meat with the onion mixture; use your hands they’re the best tool.

5. Cook a little test patty, in a frying pan using a scant amount of oil. This is a fool-proof way to check your kebabs are on point, and your last chance to correct any seasoning of the raw mixture.

6. Put your oven grill on its highest heat setting, and line the grill tray with foil paper.

7. Fill a small bowl with water. Wet your hands before shaping your kebabs, this will stop the mixture from sticking to your hands. Take some of the mixture, roll into a ball, and then flatten. Place on the foil lined grill tray. Aim for 9-12 kebabs from the mixture for a good size.

8. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked. You want a nice char, and don’t overcook, keep them juicy!