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 onions diced
- 2 jalapeño minced
- 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste (2 inch ginger, 4 cloves garlic)
- 2 tbsp garam masala (see recipe link below)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 bunch cilantro finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cup almond meal (or almond flour)
- 4 eggs
- Oil for frying
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, mix the meat, onions, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, till meat is cooked through and liquid has almost evaporated.
- Add the mixture into a food processor and add the cilantro and almond meal. Blend till smooth (make sure to keep the blender vented to let the steam out!)
- When meat is cool enough to handle, add the eggs. Give it one more mix (by hand or in the blender). It will look like a wet sloppy mess – have faith.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat, heat a couple of tablespoons oil. Use your hands, or a large spoon, drop about a 1/4 cup of the meat mixture in the pan, almost like you’re making a meat pancake. Mmmmm meat pancake. Fry on medium-low heat, till firm and golden on one side. Gently flip and cook the other side. The kebab will firm up as it cooks. No more sloppy mess!
- The name of the game is to cook it low and slow. But don’t mess with it while the first side is cooking, or you will have a mess. Just trust it is working.