If you have never had one, a traditional shami kebab is a delicious meat kebab that is made with a mixture of lentils and meat (beef or chicken) that is cooked with spices then blended up till smooth, shaped into patties, then coated with egg and fried. The resulting kebab has a smooth almost velvety texture with a crisp outer layer. It’s divine.
I wanted to take the lentils out of the equation to make this more keto, paleo and Whole30 friendly. I replaced the lentils with almond meal (which you can’t really taste in there), used my garam masala seasoning mix for added flavour, and added eggs to help bind everything together. Honestly, halfway into it I thought they wouldn’t work. It was looking like a big sloppy mess. But it all came together in the end. It’s got all the flavours and texture of a shami, but now it’s totally paleo!
The plate does not lie…
Paleo Shami Kebabs
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 medium onions diced
- 2-3 green chillies diced (adjust number to your desired level of spice)
- 2 inch ginger thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 2 tbsp garam masala (I make my own – recipe is linked below)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp arrowroot flour (or xanthan gum)
- 4 eggs
- Oil for frying
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, mix the 2lbs ground beef, 2 diced onions, 2 inch chopped ginger and 4 cloves chopped garlic (or use 4 tsp ginger garlic paste), 2 tbsp garam masala, and 2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, till meat is cooked through and most of the cooking liquid has almost evaporated.
- Once cooked, transfer the mixture into a food processor and add about 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, and 1 1/4 cup almond flour. Blend till smooth (make sure to keep the blender vented to let the steam out while it is blending!)
- When the meat is cool enough to handle, add 4 eggs and 2 tbsp arrowroot flour. Give it one more mix (by hand or in the blender). It will look like a wet sloppy mess – have faith it will come together in the end.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat, heat a couple of tablespoons oil. Use a large spoon or cup measure to drop about a 1/4 cup of the meat mixture in the pan, almost like you’re making a pancake. Mmmmm a meat pancake! Fry on medium-low heat, till firm and golden on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Gently flip and cook the other side. The kebab will firm up as it cooks.
- Tip: The name of the game is to cook the kebabs low and slow. Don’t mess with it while the first side is cooking, or you will have a mess if you try to flip it too soon. Just trust it is working.