Fish Shami Kabab – crispy on the outside, soft and spicy in the center, these scrumptious flavor rich patties are an excellent snack or appetizer. And they provide a good amount of protein and healthy fats.
WHAT IS SHAMI KABAB?
Shami kabab is a traditional kebab from the Indian subcontinent. The kababs are prepared as little patties with cooked minced meat (beef or mutton), ground chickpeas, spices and often egg. These kababs are pretty popular and served as a snack or appetizer and frequently as part of festive menus.
Other yummy appetizers and snacks you may also like:
- Spicy meat and potato patties
- Vegetarian kotlet with eggplant
- Crispy potato edamame samosa rolls
- Easy Moroccan chicken pastilla
Shami kababs taste pretty good with mint chutney, sliced onion and some lemon juice sprinkled on them. They are often served with rice or Indian style flat bread (chapathi or paratha). But these patties would also work well in wraps and sandwiches with some sandwich spread, lettuce, tomatoes and onions.
Although Shami kababs are well known as being part of the Indian cuisine, they are also an integral part of some central Asian cuisines such as Persian and Afghan. Shami kababs are essentially part of the famous Mughlai cuisine of India, which is recognized for its central Asian influences.
HEALTH BENEFITS – FISH SHAMI KABAB
For the recipe below, I deviate from convention and make the shami kababs with fish. They taste absolutely fantastic and are great for picky eaters who try to avoid fish.
I bet you have someone like that in your family and you can easily slide some fish into their diet with these shami kabab. Of course, pair these shallow fried patties with something light, like whole grain bread or plain rice and lots of veggies.
I prepared these shami kebabs with salmon as it is chunky, firm and flaky in texture – exactly what I need for these patties. Salmon is a source of good quality protein and heart healthy unsaturated fats.
Specifically, salmon is a great source of the long chain omega 3 fatty acids. And is also a good source of other nutrients, such as B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, potassium and phosphorus.
Regular consumption of fatty fish such as salmon has been associated with a lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Salmon has less saturated fat content than other animals protein sources, such as beef or chicken. Therefore, intake of salmon is conducive to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Further, research studies have revealed beneficial effects of Salmon consumption on the brain and cognitive process. As such, it has been connected with a lower risk of depression, psychoses, dementia, cognitive deficits and ADHD.
Hence, inclusion of at least two servings of fatty fish per week as part of a healthy diet is highly recommended.
TIPS FOR MAKING MINCED FISH KEBABS (SHAMI KABAB)
- It is important to make a careful selection of fish to avoid harm from pollutants. A resource that provides excellent consumer guides is Seafood Watch. You may also checkout their app.
- When it comes to salmon, I would recommend choosing the wild caught fish. Canned fish can also come in handy. You may use the above resource to help you choose the right options.
- Other than salmon, you could try using tuna for making the shami kebab. Tuna is also a chunky firm fish and would work well for these patties.
- When crumbling the fish, make sure to retain a coarse flaky texture and avoid blending it into a fine paste. Even if you were to use a food processor to combine the ingredients, be sure to just give a few short pulses so that the mixture is not ground up too fine.
- When using fresh salmon to make the shami kababs, I prefer to steam it first, rather than sautéing. Otherwise the fish may become too dry.
- The kabab mixture should not be dry and crumbly, rather it should be moist but not too wet.
- These shami kabab patties can also be frozen before frying or after frying. Just thaw them a few minutes and fry or warm them up in the oven as needed.
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
What kind of appetizers and snacks do you make with fish?
Did you try this “Fish Shami Kabab”?
Do you have any questions about it? Or any suggestions?
Let me know by leaving a comment below, rating it, and tagging it with a photo at #thedeliciouscrescent on Instagram.
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- 2 pounds Salmon (or Tuna, canned or steamed, boneless)
- 1/2 cup onion grated
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour roasted
- 1/4 cup cilantro fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili peppers (cayenne, jalapeno or serrano)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon mint (dried or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint)
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander ground
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 eggs large
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup peanut oil* (some will be leftover after frying)
- Salt if needed
Crumble the canned or steamed fish into smaller pieces. Add the grated onion, chickpea flour, cilantro, chili peppers, ginger garlic paste, mint, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, red pepper flakes and one egg to the fish.
And mix it all up very well into a smooth and moldable mixture. Canned fish will have some added salt, so use any additional salt only if needed.
Divide the fish shami kabab mixture into 12 to 16 portions. Roll each portion and flatten into an oval disc. Keep the shaped kababs aside.
Set up the items for breading the kababs. Beat the egg. Spread the bread crumbs in a flat plate.
Dip each shami kabab in the beaten egg and then dip it in the bread crumbs, making sure to coat all around in each step.
Press the kabab gently to make sure the bread crumbs are nicely set on it. Keep the prepared shami kababs aside.
The kababs may be shallow fried in two batches in a skillet that has enough room for six to eight kababs.
For each batch, heat 4 tablespoons oil in the skillet on medium high. Once the oil is hot enough, slide six to eight kababs and lower the heat to medium and shallow fry both sides for 2 to 3 minutes each until golden brown. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Serve the kababs in a platter with some onion and lime slices. May serve the fish shami kababs as an appetizer, side dish, snack or they can be used to make sandwiches.
If the frying is done right at the optimum temperature and if not reusing the same oil, the absorption of oil can be kept to the minimum.
The shami kababs can be breaded and frozen a day ahead. Prior to frying, thaw the kababs. Frozen kababs can also be kept for a longer time for later use, especially in freezers that do not form ice crystals on the kababs.
Alternatively the shami kababs can be fried and wrapped in parchment paper and packed in freezer safe bags and frozen. Just thaw them and heat in a toaster oven, conventional oven or on a skillet.
Roasted chickpea flour, ginger garlic paste, dried mint, garam masala, turmeric, ground cumin and ground coriander are available at Indian and middle eastern grocery stores or online.
You may choose alternative oils for those with allergies.
For more tips and serving suggestions check out the blog post above.
Serving Size: 1 kabab
Calories 138, Total Fat 7 g (Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g), Cholesterol 54 mg, Sodium* 87 mg, Potassium 247 mg, Phosphorus 178 mg, Total Carbohydrate 3 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Sugars 1 g, Protein 14 g
* Using fresh salmon and not including added salt.