Sheekh Kewab Series~I

Kawabs are one of the most delicious non-vegetarian tandoori item next to Tandoori Chicken. I heard and read at a site that the first kawabs were invented during the war times, when the animal was slaughtered, cut into pieces, and pierced by the only things they had along, sword (!) and they roasted it over fire. We in the modern world continue to do so, but in a more decent way, we have replaced swords with skewers. ‘Sheekh’ means a ‘skewer’, and ‘Sheekh Kawabs’ are the ‘Kawabs grilled/roasted on Skewers’.

Sheekh Kababs – Minced meat Kebabs

Kawabs are vegetables, or meat pieces or ground meat marinated with spices and wrapped around the skewers and grilled or roasted over fire, charcoal, or in oven. They are very easy to prepare too. Marinate them with the required ingredients, and later you just have to grill them. There is no long process to it. Kababs can be Vegetarian, Non-Vegetarian or both. They are a delicacy.

In this recipe I am using both minced chicken as well as minced lamb. The taste comes out very well. My Mother-In-Law usually prepares this type of kawabs. I learnt this procedure from her but modified it my way. An another version of Sheekh Kabab is posted here.

It is very important that after you wash the minced meat, the water from it has all been drained out completely, or else the shape doesnt come out very well. And while mixing the minced meat with the other ingredients, its important that you use your hands, and pulverise the mixture with your palm. You can marinate it for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator. Bring the whole marinated mixture to room temperature before you start grilling it.

Sheekh Kawabs – Minced meat Kebabs (I)


Minced Chicken – 350 gms
Minced Lamb – 200 gms
Onions – 3, large, finely sliced
Dry Roasted Black Cumin powder – 3/4 tsp
Dry Roasted Sesame seeds powder – 3/4 tsp
Dry roasted Khus Khus powder – 3/4 tsp
Nigells seed/Kalaunji powder – 3/4 tsp
Dry Roasted Coriander seeds powder – 1 tsp
Dry Roasted Groundnut powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Green chilli – 6, cut and grinded to paste
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Raw papaya paste – 2 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Eggs – 2, lightly beaten
Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Plain Parsley leaves – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Canola Oil – to baste the kababs, and to deep fry the onions.


1. Wash the meat and drain it well till all the water has been removed completely and the meat is dry. This is important or else the shape does not come out very well.
2. Fry the onions in oil oil they are crisp and brown in colour. Remove them once they are done from the oil onto a paper towel.
3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients, with your hands till they nicely mixed. Knead the mixture till pulverized with your palms. Later wash your hands very well with an antiseptic soap. Let the mixture marinate for 2 to 6 hours.
4. Bring it to room temperature, and divide the mixture into 8 balls. Shape each one into a long cylinder.
5. Dip your skewer into oil and insert it into the cylinders just to make a big hole in each one. Remove the skewer and continue doing it with all the shaped cylinders.
6. Take a baking tray and line it with aluminium foil, place the holed cylinders on the tray and baste them with oil. Grill/Broil at low heat, 15 minutes, per side. Grill them till they are nicely done on both sides. (You can even grill them on a charcoal grill for the best smoked flavor).

Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy the kawabs along with ‘Kaddu ka Dalcha’, or ‘Khatti Dal’ and ‘Baghara Chawal’ aka Zeera rice, or simply along with a chutney as a finger food.

Tip: Enjoy the leftover kawabs as delicious Pita pockets.