Helen Aunty’s Shammi Kebabs (first appeared in iDiva.com)

Helen Aunty’s Shammi Kebabs (first appeared in iDiva.com)

When I was a kid, people would often mistake my aunt to be my mother. As I grew older, there were multiple situations in my life where she did take the place of my mother. Apart from the motherly love she showers on me, my aunt Helen is also a fine cook and we share a common passion for all things food.

The only difference being, that she loves to cook and I love to eat.

The best part about the way she approaches cooking, is that she makes the most complicated dishes sound so easy. You are inspired to cook immediately after she rattles off the recipe to you. I can safely say that most of my culinary skills are thanks to her jhatpat recipes.

Here is one of aunt Helen’s most sought after dishes, the melt-in-your-mouth, homemade shammi kebabs. I bet once you make them you won’t want to order out from a Mughlai takeaway!


¼ kg mutton mince
1 large onion minced
1 inch finely chopped ginger
10 cloves finely chopped garlic
3 tbsp chana daal
1 tbsp fresh curd
½ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 small bunch of coriander leaves
2 green chilies
1 tbsp vegetable oil
One egg (beaten)
Salt to taste


1. Wash the mince thoroughly and cook it with the ingredients [except egg and salt] in the pressure cooker for two whistles.

2. Remove this from the gas and sauté all of the ingredients in the cooker for some time. If this gives out a slight burning smell, the kebabs will be more delicious to taste.

3. Once this cools down, grind the kebab mixture into a fine paste in a food blender.

4. Mix in one beaten egg and salt into this mixture.

5. Make small balls, flatten these and shallow fry them in a pan with vegetable oil

6. Optional: You might want to dip the flattened balls in another beaten egg for added flavor

7. Serve hot on a bed of onion and lemon rings, with mint chutney.

This dish is a great appetizer. However, I love the kebabs best when I snuck it between two slices of bread, add some onion and tomatoes, a dash of pepper – making it a part of a tasty sandwich.

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