Seekh Kebab (Ground Lamb Kebab)

Seekh Kabab

Kebabs, (sometimes written as kabob, kebab, or kebob) in its many variants, are found in many Middle Eastern cuisines and were first introduced to India by the Mughals, an Islamic imperial power which ruled India during the 16th – 19th centuries.

Seekh Kebabs, one of the most popular versions, is minced meat flavored with an array of spices cooked over charcoal fire. Minced lamb was found to have a softer texture than beef and became the meat of choice for the Mughal emperors early on. It also did not offend the cooks, who were often Hindu.

The best seekh kebabs I have had were at El Kauser restaurant which is located in a very posh area, Chanakya Puri, in New Delhi. This is a drive in restaurant.   They are best known for their meat biryani and seekh kebabs. The kebabs are so soft that they melt in your mouth and so took on the name, reshmi, or silk, kebabs.

Prep: 30 min. | Cooking: 30 min. | Serves: 12 | Grade: Medium
  • 2 lbs ground lamb (or beef)  
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger or 1″ piece, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground garlic or 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper or jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala (if available)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Method for Preparation

  1. Put ground lamb in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add all the ingredients except onions, coriander leaves and sour cream to the food processor and grind them to fine paste.  Slowly add oil and sour cream throughout to bring the ingredients together.
  3. Add the mixture to ground meat and mix well into a smooth dough.
  4. Add onions and coriander leaves to the mixture.
  5. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it marinate for two hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F when ready to bake.
  7. Cover a baking sheet with the aluminum foil and keep it aside.
  8. Divide the mixture into 12 portions making each portion about the size of a lime.
  9. Oil your palms and take a portion and roll it between your palms until it is the shape of a sausage.
  10. Repeat with the remaining portions and place them side by side (with about an inch of space) in a row.
  11. Cook them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes on the middle rack on the baking tray covered with foil.
  12. Take the tray out after 20 minutes and drain all the liquids out. Turn the oven to broil and flip the kebabs.
  13. Brush them with the oil and keep them in the oven for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
  14. The color should be a light golden brown. Be careful not to overcook otherwise they will dry up.


  • Seekh kebabs can also be cooked on a charcoal grill.  The portioned meat will need to be threaded on the skewers.  Grill for 15 to 20 minutes and brush them with butter and grill them for 5 minutes until golden brown.  If the mixture is too soft to thread through a skewer,  1 teaspoon of corn starch can be added to the marinade to help bind them.

Serve hot with yogurt mint chutney.  Can be garnished with onion rings and lemon slices.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rita August 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Sorry, I did not understand your comment about sourcream. This can be reduced to half or omitted.

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