a good friend gave me an awesome out-of-print punjabi cookbook from 1973. it got me thinking about collecting more vintage cookbooks from all over the world. the way it is written is so fun-like someone sharing the family secrets. which basically they are. they do not take steps to shorten the process, which i appreciate, however, you can expect to spend a lot of hours in the kitchen.

a friend of mine gave me his shammi kabab recipe which was relatively simple. so i looked in the cookbook to see if they had a recipe for theshami kabab a popular pakistani and indian kebab, that is composed of small patty minced mutton or beef, ground chickpeas and spices.
shami kebabs are an extremely popular snack in pakistan and india. they are often garnished with lemon juice and/or sliced raw onions, and are usually eaten with chutney made from mint or coriander.

i opted to give the long version a “go” and even had to leave a step out because i did not expect to be in the kitchen for 5+ hours making snacks. apparently they have a filling that has almonds & raisens in it & plenty of ghee, which i’m not always patient enough to deal with unfortunately. they tasted UNBELIEVABLE without that filling anyhow.

my friend opted for stew meat & lentils, i decided to use new zealand lamb shoulder & chickpeas cooked in my new bff, THE PRESSURE COOKER. why? because chickpeas take FOREVER to cook & this only took an hour. the meat fell off the bone & all was easily ground into a paste. my doggie was very happy to get a plate full of lamb bones. here is the recipe

SHAMMI KABAB (mutton cutlet)

1 lb. minced lamb
1/4 pt. water
2 oz onions
1.5 t. salt
2 oz chickpeas dry
6 cloves garlic
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t red pepper

i fine chopped the above & pressure cooked an hour, they let it stand in the cooker another hour. i took out the bones & pureed the mixture, but drained out any stock leftover. my friend told me it has to be dry in order to stick together when frying. i saved that lamb stock for future use.

then i added the following & pureed
1 oz ginger
2 green chilis (seeded)
pulvarized together
1/2 t garam masala
1 t fresh lime juice
1 beaten egg
1 T chopped coriander leaves
1 T tomato paste

i made some ghee

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which is a total pain in the ass

and my own garam masala

which is whole spices ground in a coffee grinder

-brown cardamom
-black cumin seed

i divided the mixture into 8 patties & fried till brown in the ghee. then i made the chutney, which took an already perfect lamb patty completely over the top. it has coriander (cliantro), mint leaves & fresh tamarind, which i have never worked with before. it was very strange! you remove the husk & it has this sticky woody seed thick interior.

you have to soak them for half an hour, squeeze out the seeds, & use the sweet & sticky water.

it was WAY worth it. i could have just eaten the chutney with a spoon.


4 oz cilantro
2 green chilis (remove seeds if you don’t want too much spice)
1 T salt
4 oz fresh mint
4 oz seedless tamarind (i used 8 T of the tamarind water)

fine chop & puree.