Recipe: Keto Shami Kebab

Shami kebabs are one of the most convenient meal options for me. They are ready in a jiffy, and always delicious. I puppy-eyed Nasira Ali (my flatmate) into making them for me, with a promise to assist. She usually makes them with pulses/legumes, but I asked her to skip it to make them keto-friendly.

Am I still following ketogenic diet? No. I just had a butter pretzel.

Back to the recipe. So here’s what you need:

  • 1 kg meat (beef, boneless, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6 dry red chilies (alter according to your preference)
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 2 star anise
  • 15 cloves
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 one-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 3 inch ginger
  • 12 green chilies
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 egg
  • Oil (for frying)


  1. Slice two onions, garlic and ginger. Add that to your cooking bowl, followed by meat, cumin, red chilies, pepperorns, cloves, black cardamoms, star anise, cinnamon sticks, turmeric, coriander and powder. Turn on the flame to medium-high, mix well, and then add water.
  2. Allow the water to come to a boil, and then lower down the flame to medium-low and let your meet cook until its tender. It took an hour for me, but the cooking time may vary according to the quality of your meat.
  3. Once the meat is cooked and water has dried, turn off the flame and allow it to cool down, for say 15 minutes. In the meantime, slice the remaining onion into small pieces (similar to what you’d use for omelette).
  4. Add chopped coriander and green chilies, mixed with a spoon (as it might still be hot), and add to the food processor in batches. Pulse until it is all combined and becomes dough-like.
  5. Take some into your palm and form into kebab shapes. This is more difficult than it sounds; mine just kept falling apart. Nasra’s held solid as she would beat them into shape. So go hard on them.
  6. As the meat is cooked, you can pan fry it without oil or dipped them in beaten egg and shallow fry. If you are feeling bold, you can crust it with Parmesan and egg for additional flavour.

This recipe makes about 20 kebabs, and one egg can coat approximately 8 pieces. I froze rest of them for later. Also, they weren’t as spicy as I’d like (I am a parrot), so I will add more green chilies or use smaller dry red chilies instead of big ones.

If you do try this keto kebab recipe, please let me know how it turns out! Happy keto-ing/low carbing/eating.

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