Shami kabab or shaami kabab (Urdu: شامی کباب, Bengali: শামী কাবাব) is a local variety of kebab from the Indian subcontinent; it is part of the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines. It is composed of a small patty of minced meat (generally beef, but occasionally lamb or mutton as well), with ground chickpeas, egg to hold it together, and spices. Shami kebab is eaten as a snack or an appetizer. Shami Kebab is served to guests especially in the regions of Hyderabad Deccan, Punjab, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Sindh.
Shami kebabs are a popular snack throughout Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. They are often garnished with lemon juice and served with sliced raw onions as a side salad, and may be eaten with chutney made from mint or coriander. They are also served along with sheer khurma during Eid celebrations.
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Shami kababs are boiled or sauteed meat (mutton or chicken) and chickpeas (chana daal) with whole hot spices (garam masala, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves), whole ginger, whole garlic and some salt to taste until completely tender. Onions, turmeric, chili powder, egg, chopped green coriander, chopped green chillies and chopped mint leaves may be added in preparing kebab. Garam masala powder (ground spices) may be used in place of whole hot spices.
The cooked meat is then ground in such a way that is fibrous and does not become a paste. It is then shaped into diamond or round patties and is shallow fried.
With increase in vegetarianism and vegans, various new methods and recipes of making shami kabab have emerged in the subcontinent.
Shami kebabs may be served with roti along with ketchup, hot sauce, chilli garlic sauce, raita or chutney. Before serving the kebabs, it is also common to dip them in a beaten egg mixture and double fry them. They are also commonly eaten in Hyderabad with ordinary rice or chapati.
The popular etymology in Pakistan and Bangladesh is that the name shami kebab may refer to Bilad al-Sham, the modern Syria, as many cooks from that region migrated to the wealthy Mughal Empire during the Middle Ages. While the popular etymology in India is that the name refer to word shaam which means "evening" in Urdu and Hindi languages.
In the British science fiction programme Red Dwarf, shami kebab is a favourite food of the main character Dave Lister. The episode "Polymorph" includes a scene in which Lister is attacked by a shape-shifting alien that has taken the form of a shami kebab. During this episode, Dave Lister is seen making what he calls "Shami Kebab Diablo". Although the popular form of the Shami Kebab is a round patty, Dave makes his more like the sausage shape of the Seekh Kebab.