Vegan Shami Kababs


These Shami kebabs are the real deal! What are shami kebabs you may wonder? They are small patties usually made of minced meat, generally beef, always mixed with channa daal and spices. This version uses potatoes instead of beef with black chickpeas (kala chana) and I honestly can’t tell the difference!

Shami kebab can be served as a snack or an appetizer, and was definitely a staple in our house whenever guests would come over – you could tell someone was on their way if there was that waft of frying in the air!

Pictured here with Punjab Spice Company cilantro chutney, it’s the perfect pairing!


  • 3 medium sized potatoes

    1 cup of black chickpeas (kaalay Channay)

    1/2 medium sized red onion

    1 green chili

    Handful cilantro

    1 1/2 tsp salt

    3/4 tsp garam masala

    1/2 tsp red chili pepper

    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    3 tbsp besan flour (chickpea flour)


  1. Boil potatoes until they’re soft but not mushy. Set them aside until they cool down, then take the peel off.

    Rinse the kabli channay (black chickpeas) and leave them submerged in water for an hour. They expand in size during this time. After the hour, rinse them and put them in a pressure cooker or instant pot and cook for 10 minutes on medium. Once cooked, take out of instant pot and drain and rinse them. You want to make sure they are not too wet – so leave them out after rinsing to make sure they are dry. There is enough natural moisture in chickpeas so you won’t need any extra. Then mash them and mix them with the potatoes.

    Next finely chop the onion and add it to the Channay + potatoes mixture. Add 1 green chili finely chopped and added that as well. Depending on your spice preference, you can add more or add less.

    Add handful diced cilantro, 1 and 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp red chili pepper, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 3 tbsp besan (helps to bind it). This is for a medium spice level. Add more spice if you want to kick it up a notch.

    Mix everything up and form them into little patties. Make sure the patty is flat and the ends are tightened, round, and contained within the patty. Shallow fry them (alittle bit of oil and kabab is not submerged fully in oil) – on medium heat for a couple minutes on each side – until they’re golden brown.

    Serve hot with cilantro chutney and hot sauce!

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