Make this traditional vegetarian Dahi ke kabab that is perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. This tangy, savory and delicious snack is great for sharing and is made with Curd or yogurt, gram flour, onions, ginger, chilies, coriander leaves and seasonings. Serve it with freshly sliced onions and a spicy Green Chutney for more flavor!
Table of Contents
What is Dahi ke Kabab
‘Dahi’ is the Hindi word for curd or yogurt. And in reference to this recipe, kabab or kebab are patties that are pan fried or shallow fried. So essentially these are spiced and savory patties made with yogurt.
Dahi kabab is a restaurant favorite that can be made in different ways. I received so many requests to make it so here is my fail-proof traditional dahi kabab recipe and it’s probably a lot easier to make than you think.
The only tricky part is shaping the kababs but, with a bit of practice, you’ll be making these tasty snacks in no time!
For this recipe, I use besan a.k.a gram flour as the binding agent rather than paneer or breadcrumbs as they are not used to make traditional dahi ke kebab.
It is also important to get the amount of gram flour just right in this recipe as it will affect the taste of the kababs. Adding a small amount of gram flour will result in soft kababs that are difficult to shape. While adding too much gram flour will make the kababs tougher.
These kababs are shallow fried or pan-fried like most kababs to get a crispy texture on the outside however, you can also deep fry them if you want. Bear in mind that deep-frying kababs is not as healthy as pan-frying as the kababs will absorb more oil.
Serve dahi ke kabab with freshly sliced onions and do not forget to sprinkle chaat masala on top of them for more delicious flavor! You can also serve these kababs with mint chutney, coriander chutney or tomato ketchup.
How to Make Dahi Kabab
Make Hung Curd
1. We first make hung curd which is basically curd or yogurt drained of all its whey. This results in a thicker yogurt.
You can use Greek Yogurt which also works well in this recipe. If using Greek Yogurt, read on from step 5 onwards.
To make the hung curd, first place a strainer on top of a deep bowl.
2. Then line a muslin or thin cotton napkin on the strainer. Add 1.5 cups of fresh chilled curd.
TIP: The curd must be thick, creamy and not too watery or thin. Do not use sour curd or khatta dahi as this will affect the taste.
3. Bring the edges of the muslin together and tie one edge tightly around the rest. Place a heavyweight, bowl or lid on the tied muslin.
Then refrigerate the whole thing in the fridge overnight or for 10 to 12 hours. If you have a hook in your fridge, you can also hang the muslin in your refrigerator.
Use a deep bowl below to collect the excess whey from the curd and be careful not to let the curd touch the whey.
4. The next day, the curd should be thick and creamy with a similar consistency to cream cheese.
Feel free to add the nutrient-rich whey to chapati dough, pulao or curries. I like to use it to make Veg Pulao.
5. Now add the hung curd to a mixing bowl and use a silicone spatula to scrape the curd from the sides. Set aside or keep the curd covered in the fridge for mixing later.
Make Yogurt Mixture
6. Heat a heavy pan or kadai and add 5 tablespoons of besan to it.
You can also add 6 tablespoons of besan if you are making these kababs for the first time for easier shaping.
7. Stir and roast the besan on a low heat until it becomes aromatic and changes color.
TIP: It’s important to roast the besan properly as you do not want the raw taste of besan in the kababs. However, be careful not to burn the besan.
8. Roast the besan for 4 to 5 minutes on a low heat and stir continuously until the besan becomes aromatic and turns golden. Set aside for later.
9. Grab the hung curd. Then add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onions, ½ a teaspoon of finely chopped ginger, ½ a teaspoon of finely chopped green chilies and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped coriander leaves to the bowl.
10. Add ½ a teaspoon of cumin powder and ½ a teaspoon of garam masala powder. Feel free to use roasted cumin powder instead.
11. Add the roasted besan.
12. Then add ¼ a teaspoon of black pepper powder or white pepper powder and ½ a teaspoon of salt to taste or as required.
TIP: To heat things up add ¼ teaspoon of red chili powder or cayenne pepper.
13. Use a small wired whisk to stir and mix the ingredients together. Mix it very well so that there are no tiny lumps of the besan.
Using a wire whisk will help the lumps to break easily. If you are using a spoon or spatula, it may take more time to break the lumps.
Alternatively, you can pass a mixture of hung curd and besan through a sieve which can get quite messy so I avoid this method.
14. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and bring the entire kabab mixture to the center.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for another 1 to 2 hours. Refrigerating the kabab mixture will make it firm and easy to shape.
Fry Dahi Kabab
15. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a tawa or skillet or frying pan on a low to medium-low heat.
Rub a bit of water on both of your palms, take a portion of the dahi kabab mixture and create a round shape. Make sure you handle them gently because these kababs have a light and soft consistency.
16. Next flatten the kababs and make sure they are not very thick. If the kabas do not hold their shape refrigerate them in the fridge for some more time.
Alternatively, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of besan to make them more firm. Do not add too much as this will make the kababs too firm.
17. Add the dahi ke kabab to the hot oil and cook on a low or medium-low heat. Shape the rest of the kabab mixture equally and place them gently in the hot oil.
TIP: Keep a little bit of water in a small plate or bowl to help you shape the kababs.
18. Fry the dahi kabab until golden from the base. Then only gently turn over each kabab with a spatula. Fry the second side until golden and crisp.
These kababs fry quite quickly so keep an eye on them.
20. Turn the kababs over a couple of times until you get a nice golden even crust on both sides.
21. Once they are done remove them from the pan and place them on kitchen paper towels to soak up excess oil.
22. Serve dahi kabab hot and sprinkle chaat masala on top. You can also serve dahi kabab with onion slices, pudina chutney, mint coriander chutney or raita.
- Curd: Use fresh chilled curd for this recipe and make sure the curd is not sour as this will affect the flavor of the dahi ke kabab. I prefer to use homemade curd as I always get the best results when I do. If you are making the curd at home then it is important to leave the curd to set the night before. It should have a thick and creamy texture.
- Gram flour or besan: It is important to cook the gram flour in a pan before seasoning to prevent the kababs from tasting like raw flour so don’t skip this step! Stir the gram flour continuously to avoid burning.
- Party size: The great thing about these kababs is that they can be made ahead of time for parties or large gatherings. Follow the recipe, make the kabab mixture and refrigerate them until you are ready to fry them. The kababs will taste just as fresh as delicious using this method. This recipe makes 6 medium-sized kababs so double or triple the recipe to serve more people.
- Spices and seasonings: There are so many different ways to make kababs so feel free to alter the seasonings and spices to suit your taste. For example, add more chilies for a spicy version or add less if you want a milder kabab.
Yes, of course! Skip the onions and garlic if you don’t like the taste. They can be replaced with a pinch of asafoetida (hing) to mimic the flavors of onion and garlic.
Yes, you can but, make sure the patties are firm as this will make them easier to coat. If the patties are light and soft, then crumb coating will not be as easy. To avoid this add breadcrumbs to the kabab mixture to make them firm. Then coat the kabab with bread crumbs and fry.
Hung curd is essentially drained curd and is the Indian version of Greek Yogurt. It has a smooth thick and creamy consistency and is added to a variety of Indian recipes like paneer, raita, dips and chutneys.
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Dahi Kabab | Dahi ke Kabab (Yogurt Kebab)
- 1.5 cups Curd – 375 grams curd or 200 grams hung curd, about 8 to 9 tablespoons hung curd or greek yogurt – fresh and cold
- 5 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder (ground black pepper) or white pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon salt or add as required
- 2 tablespoons oil – for pan frying or add as needed
Preparing hung curd
- First keep a strainer on top of a deep bowl. Line a muslin or a cotton napkin on the strainer.
- Add the fresh cold curd. The curd has to be thick and creamy and not watery or thin.
- Bring the edges of the muslin together and tie one edge tightly around the rest. Place a heavy weight or heavy bowl or lid on the tied muslin.
- Next day, the whey will be drained and there will be thick and creamy hung curd. With the nutrient rich whey, you can add it to chapati dough or make pulao or curries with it.
- Now remove the hung curd in a mixing bowl. Use silicon spatula as scraping the curd is easier with it. Set aside or you can keep covered in the fridge till you proceed further.
Preparing kabab mixture
- Heat a heavy pan or kadai. Add 5 tablespoons besan in it. You can also add 6 tablespoons besan if you are making these kababs for the first time and for easier shaping.
- Begin to stir and roast the gram flour on a low heat till it becomes fragrant and changes color. It is important to roast the gram flour well, so that you do not get the raw taste of gram flour after frying the kababs. However, do not make the gram flour too browned.
- Roast for 4 to 5 minutes on a low heat stirring non-stop till the gram flour becomes fragrant and turns golden. Set aside.
- Take the hung curd in a bowl. Then add finely chopped onions, finely chopped ginger, finely chopped green chillies and finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Add cumin powder and garam masala powder. You can even use roasted cumin powder.
- Add the roasted besan and black pepper powder (or white pepper powder).
- Instead of black pepper powder you can even use ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder. Crushed black pepper can also be added.
- With a small wired whisk, begin to stir and mix. Do mix very well so that there are no tiny lumps of the besan. When mixing I suggest to use a wired whisk as the lumps break easily. If you use a spoon or spatula, then its takes time to break them.
- With a silicon spatula, scrape the sides and bring the entire kabab mixture in the center. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Refrigerating makes the kabab mixture firm and thus shaping them is easier.
Making dahi kabab
- Before frying heat 2 tablespoons oil on a skillet or frying pan. Keep the flame to low or medium-low.
- Now spread a bit of water on both palms and take a portion of the kabab mixture and give it a round shape.
- Then flatten it. Do not make thick kababs. If you are unable to make kababs, then keep in the fridge for some more time.
- Place the dahi kabab in the hot oil. Keep the flame to low or medium-low. Make kababs from the entire mixture and place them in the oil.
- Let the dahi kabab become golden from the bottom and then only flip them. These kabab get browned faster, so do keep an eye while pan frying.
- When the base is golden, then turn over the dahi kabab. Fry the second side also till golden.
- Turn over a couple of times and fry till you get a nice golden even crust on both sides. A slight more browning of the kabab is also fine.
- Remove the pan fried dahi ke kabab and place them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Serve dahi kabab hot with sprinkled with some chaat masala. Accompany onion slices by the side and a chutney or raita.
- Preferably use thick curd to make the hung curd. Also these dahi kabab comes together quickly if you have greek yogurt.
- If using greek yogurt, simply mix in the roasted gram flour, onions, spices, herbs and make the kababs.
- To make these dahi kababs more spicy, add more green chillies. You can also add red chilli powder instead of black pepper powder.
- I have not baked these kababs. You can give a try if you prefer to bake these over pan frying.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Dahi Kabab post from the archives first published on October 2017 has been republished and updated on 20 May 2022.