Shami Kabab | Veg Shami Kebab

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Shami kabab is a very popular and delicious Awadhi dish made from minced meat, lentils and spices. In this post I have shared a vegetarian and plant based version of shami kebab made with black chickpeas, gram flour, onions, spices and herbs. They are crisp, succulent and tasty served with a side of green chutney, lemon wedges and onion slices.

shami kabab served on a white platter with onion slices and lemon wedges.

I make these shami kebab usually with chana dal (bengal gram) or whole black chickpeas (kala chana). The recipe posted here has been made with black chickpeas. If you have presoaked chickpeas handy, then making these kala chana kabab is a breeze.

Now these veg shammi kabab are not melt in the mouth like the traditional version. That much I can tell you, but they are crispy and delicious. 

They are excellent as starters and even team up well with bread in a sandwich, with a bun in a burger and with Pita Bread too. They are quite filling so you can have them for breakfast or brunch also or as an evening snack. This delicious shami kebab also makes for a good party snack or starter.

There are a variety of kabab made in Indian cuisine. If you are fond of kabab then I have shared a few more vegetarian variations on the blog like:

  1. Veg kabab
  2. Hara bhara kabab 
  3. Corn kabab
  4. Dahi ke kabab

These shami kabab are shaped into small patties and then shallow fried. For a more healthier version you can bake or air fry them.

You can serve them hot or warm, with onion-mint-lime salad or mint-yogurt chutney that is usually served with tandoori snacks.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Shami Kabab

A) soaking and pressure cooking the chickpeas:

1. Rinse 1 cup dried black chickpeas (kala chana) a couple of times in fresh water. Then in a bowl soak them in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.

Make sure to use fresh black chickpeas that are in their shelf period. The aged black chickpeas will take a long time to cook and won’t taste so good.

soaked black chickpeas in water

2. Next day the black chickpeas will double in size as seen in the below photo.

soaked black chickpeas next day

3. Drain all the water.

water drained from black chickpeas

4. In a stovetop pressure cooker add the soaked black chickpeas with 2 cups water. Also add ½ teaspoon salt.

Pressure cook the chickpeas for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat or till they are thoroughly cooked and tender.

black chickpeas added to pressure cooker along with water

5. Let the pressure settle down in the cooker on its own. Then only open the lid of the pressure cooker.

Check whether black chickpeas are cooked or not. If not cooked well, then pressure cook again for some more time. Once chickpeas are cooked well then drain all the water and keep the cooked chickpeas aside.

Do make sure that all the water is drained well. Any water or liquid will make the mixture pasty and you won’t be able to easily shape the kabab.

pressure cooked black chickpeas

Making shami kabab mixture

7. In a large bowl or wide plate, add the chickpeas and mash them with a wooden spoon or a blender or with your hands.

cooked black chickpeas on a plate

8. Just make a semi coarse mixture and not too smooth.

semi coarse mixture made from black chickpeas

9. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready.

ingredients for making veg shammi kabab

10. To the semi coarse chickpea mixture, add 1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped) and 1 green chili (finely chopped).

chopped onions and green chili added to black chickpeas coarse mixture

11. Next add the following ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • salt as required
spices and salt added

12. Also add 3 to 4 tablespoons of gram flour (besan) and ½ tablespoon ginger paste.

gram flour and ginger paste added

14. Lastly add 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves.

coriander leaves added

15. Stir and mix very well.

mix the mixture well

16. Make it into small round shaped kababs or patties as shown in the below photo.

veg shammi kabab made from mixture

Frying Shami Kebab

17. For shallow frying, heat oil as required in a pan or tawa on a medium heat. You can use any neutral-flavored oil with high smoke point.

I would not recommend to deep fry as these kabab are tender and fragile. So while deep frying they can fall apart in the oil.

heat oil in a pan

18. When the oil becomes medium hot, then place the shami kebab in the pan or tawa or skillet. Begin to shallow fry these veg shammi kebab on medium heat.

TIP 1: When frying kabab, for testing, first fry one kabab in the oil. If it doesn’t break then you can safely fry the remaining kabab. If it does break, then add some more besan to the mixture and mix again.

TIP 2: You can also bake them with a drizzle of oil for a healthier version. You can also pan fry them with less oil.

shami kabab placed on pan

19. Flip gently when one side is browned and fry the second side until golden brown. You can flip each shami kabab a couple of times for even browning. Fry till they are browned on both sides and crispy.

frying shami kabab

20. Once done, then place them on kitchen paper napkins to remove any extra oil. Shallow fry the remaining kabab in the same way. Add more oil if needed to fry the remaining batches.

fried shami kabab placed on kitchen paper towels

21. Serve them hot or warm for best taste. While serving, garnish shammi kabab with 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves or chopped coriander leaves.

You can serve them with onion-mint salad along with slices of lime and some mint chutney.

For a more filling snack, you can make sandwiches, Burger with these kababs. Use them as patty and top with your favorite fillings. You can also make a pita sandwich with hummus, tahini sauce and pickles.

shami kabab placed on white tray with onion slices and lemon wedges

If you are looking for more Snacks recipes then do check:

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veg shammi kabab recipe, chana kabab recipe

Shami Kabab | Veg Shami Kebab

A vegetarian version of shami kabab made with black chickpeas, gram flour, onions, spices and herbs. They are crisp, succulent and tasty served with a side of green chutney, lemon wedges and onion slices.
4.64 from 11 votes
Prep Time 7 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Cuisine Awadhi
Course Snacks
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 10 Veg Shami Kabab


For pressure cooking black chickpeas

  • 1 cup dried black chickpeas
  • enough water for soaking black chickpeas
  • 2 cups water or as required, for pressure cooking kala chana
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Other ingredients

  • 1 medium sized onion – finely chopped or minced
  • 1 green chili , finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • salt as required
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons gram flour (besan) or add as required
  • ½ tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves , chopped
  • oil as required for frying the kababs

For garnishing

  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves or chopped coriander leaves



  • First rinse black chickpeas a few times in fresh water.
  • In a bowl soak the black chickpeas in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
  • Drain all the soaked water and then in a stovetop pressure cook the chickpeas with 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt for 10 to 15 minutes or till they are thoroughly cooked.
  • Let the pressure settle down on its own in the cooker and then only open the lid.
  • Check if the chickpeas are cooked well. If not cooked well, then pressure cook again for some more time. 
  • Then drain all the water very well. Do make sure that the chickpeas are dry and all the water is drained from them. 
  • In a large bowl or plate add the chickpeas and mash them with a wooden spoon or a blender or your hands.
  • Just make a semi coarse mixture and not too smooth.
  • Add the following ingredients – finely chopped onions, finely chopped green chili, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, salt as required, gram flour, ginger paste and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Stir and mix very well.
  • Make into small round shaped kababs or patties.

Frying Shami Kebab

  • Heat oil in a pan or skillet on a medium heat.
  • Shallow fry the kabab in medium hot oil till crisp and browned on both sides.
  • Once done, then drain the kababs on kitchen paper napkins to remove excess oil.
  • You can also bake the kababs with a drizzle of oil for a healthier version.
  • Garnish shammi kabab with mint leaves or coriander leaves. Serve these shami kebab hot with onion-mint salad along with slices of lime and some mint chutney or coriander chutney.


  • You can also make the shammi kabab with chana dal or both chana dal and black chickpeas.
  • When frying kabab, for testing first fry one kabab in the oil. If it doesn’t break then you can safely fry the remaining kababs. If it does break, then add some more chickpea flour or gram flour to the mixture. Mix again and test.
  • Do not deep fry as they can break and fall apart while frying.
  • Ensure that you drain the water from the cooked black chickpeas very well. Any water or liquid will make the mixture pasty and you won’t be able to easily shape the kabab.
  • You can adjust the spices and seasonings according to your taste preferences.
  • Instead of shallow frying you can also pan fry with less oil. Or for a more healthier version, you can bake or air fry these shami kabab. Brush some oil on them prior to baking or air frying.
  • For pan frying you can use any neutral flavored oil with high smoking point.
  • The approx nutrition info is for 1 shami kabab fried with ½ teaspoon of sunflower oil.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Shami Kabab | Veg Shami Kebab
Amount Per Serving
Calories 95 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 203mg9%
Potassium 176mg5%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 110IU2%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.1mg7%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.02mg1%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 0.02mg1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 43mg4%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 44µg11%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 31mg8%
Phosphorus 65mg7%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Shami Kabab post from the archives (July 2012) has been updated and republished on 22 October 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.


  1. Your recipe seems very high in sodium. Is there a modification that can be implemented?

    1. There was a faint technical error that has been rectified. No modification is needed in the recipe. But to reduce the sodium intake add very less salt or skip it altogether.

  2. Hi Dassana when shallow or deep frying the tikka I found that the outside skin layer was coming apart resulting in a very shabby presentation. Any idea of how I can avoid it or correct it ? Will appreciate if you can guide me

    1. usha, try to make the kababs slightly thick and then this should not happen. hope this helps.

  3. Do we have add roasted besan.
    Because i could taste the raw flavour of besan when i tried this recipe.

    1. Shubhangi, I have not used roasted besan. When you fry the kabab then besan gets cooked. However you can also add roasted besan.

  4. hi!
    what temperature and time should these kebabs be baked at?

    p.s. i’ve used a lot of your recipes recently and they’re pretty great!
    thanks for sharing your gift!4 stars

    1. welcome aarzoo. glad to know this. you can bake the kabab at 180 degree celsius in a pre heated oven.

    1. yasir besan is made from ground chana dal, yellow split dal which we use for making dals, khichdi and pakoras. the chana dal is roasted slightly then dry grind them in a mixie for besan. this way you can make besan at home 🙂

      1. Here in pakistan ,Usually besan is made from black chick peas so what do you about result if i boil white chick peas with black chickpeas or i have to find powder form of white chickpeas ?

        1. here also in india, besan is made from black chickpeas or chana where the skin is removed. basically chana dal is from black chickpeas. take chana dal or black chickpeas where the skin is removed and its not roasted. now sun dry the chana dal or black chickpeas for a day or you can very lightly roast them. no need to brown. then give them to a mill for grinding. you can also make flour from white chickpeas. in the west this is available and is known as chickpea flour. if you want, you can use both black chana and white chana for making flour. if you boil them the it will be difficult to powder them.

  5. need clarification, how besan is made ? from chickpeas or black chick peas ?

  6. if we use channa dal,should we pressure cook channa dal too along with kala chana?

    1. yes you need to pressure cook chana dal. chana dal should be cooked and yet have separate grains. if they get cooked too much, they will become mushy. drain them very well, so that they do not have any water residue in them.

  7. Hii Dear,
    I made this recipe and is so delicious,,very yumm,,,i added chaat masala over it and have these like tikki chart with dahi, imli sauce, onion, and bhujia sev over it..4 stars

    1. pleased to know this and great modification to the recipe 🙂 thankyou so much sonil.

  8. Hi amit,

    I made this recipe with veg pressure cooker briyani today. Rice was too good. And with the kabas I m not sure if thts the texture. Taste was good. It observed oil while frying and I had the shape but was easy to break meaning it had crumble like texture. Plz let me know where I went wrong.
    Also plz let me know the temp to bake.

    Thank u

    1. these kababs have crumbly melt in mouth texture. they have to be fried in hot oil, otherwise they absorb a lot of oil. also when frying, one needs to be gentle. you have not gone wrong anywhere. bake at 180 degrees celsius and preheat the oven to 10 to 12 minutes at the same temperature before baking.

  9. Wonderful your receipes are and this one has became favourite in my family. I have tried your receipe of dal makhani and it came out so nice I got lots of compliments. All thanks to you. Add me as new fan in your list.

    1. pleased to know this dr sweta 🙂 thankyou for your positive words and god bless you.

  10. Delicious Kababs!!
    I tried to shallow fry them in a pan to reduce oil, but they started to break and became very difficult to handle and flip. Finally, I deep fried them in hot oil and that’s when they came out very well without breaking. Any idea why pan fry didn’t work out?4 stars

    1. thanks nivedita. this gyan comes from my mom. whenever frying any kababs or patties, if the oil is hot, the kababs don’t break. its got something to do with the hotness of the oil which binds the ingredients and do not allow them to break. in a tawa, since we don’t fry at high temperatures, the kababs may break. but i have never had any issues while frying in a pan or a tawa. some more of besan could have been added. even binding agent like bread or corn starch can be added.

  11. Hello i read ur blog a lot and tried many of ur recepies they r really good.thank u.and i also wanted to know wts the diff bw convection mode in microwave and the electric one. I bake all my cakes in the former.

    1. thanks. both convection mode in microwave and the OTG or electric oven use the convection principle of heating. so there is no difference in the heating method. there are just a few differencea like – in microwave the heating element is placed on top and it has a fan. whereas in most electric ovens, the heating element is placed on top and bottom of the oven and they do not have fans.

  12. Mouthwatering…I will be tring it soon. They look healthy too..
    I must compliment you for the pictures…

  13. this is a v v good recipe for veg shammi kababs. thank you.
    i also added a half tsp of chaat masala to the mix and i think that it added a bit more flavor.
    very healthy for the kids as well.

    made it twice already. once with only kala channa and once with kala channa and channa daal combo – both v good.4 stars

  14. hi!!!
    i hope you reply soon since its soooo old post dear. i tried making these kabab today.. for some reason; as soon as i added the kababs. whole oil turned white foam sort of. and the kabab absorbed all the oil and tasted so heavy and so fragile in texture. i used chana daal boiled. any idea???

    1. hi jhanvi, when we fry patties or even falafel or stuff which has ground chana dal, kala chana or kabuli chana, the oil does foam. but it goes after some time. did you deep fry or shallow fry.
      i guess the oil was not enough hot, hence the kababs absorbed so much oil. they will become fragile if they absorb a lot of oil. i can imagine the the taste and texture since this has happened with me too.

      as a rule, when frying tikkis, kababs or patties or even falafel, always add one small kabab or tikki first. if the kababs get fried perfectly and do not absorb a lot of oil, then the oil has the right temperature. another suggestion would be to pan fry the kababs. these would make them crisp as well as less oil will be used. its not due to chana dal. i even make the chana dal vadas at home and its the same consistency as these kababs.

  15. these kebabs are ok but not like those veg kababs in lucknow in which they add soyabean nuggets and mesh them together with dal they totally melt in the mouth

    1. may be those kebabs are melt in mouth, but these are healthier. i avoid using soybean nuggets which one gets in india as they are heavily processed with no soy goodness or nutrition in them.

  16. Hi Dasaana

    I made this on sunday and it came absolutely fantastic and delicious, i usually used to make this fried but your this recipe was too good

    Take cr

  17. I love your recipes! Everything you post, I want to make 🙂 These kababs look fantastic!

  18. I make shaami kebabs with soy or black eyed beans. Never tried with kala chana but oh so good! Perfect for the rainy day

  19. These look fantastic. I have made similar ones before with red lentils and chickpeas but these seem to have a nicer consistency.

  20. The Kabab’s looks awesome Dassana, I always made kabab’s with potato mix but never tried with channa…I should definately give a try 🙂
    Like you being the only vegeterain at home and cooking nonveg for everyone else feels awesome.

    BTW: Your Continue Reading feature is not working.

    1. thanks shruthi. the continue reading feature is not for the first two posts on the home page. for these, the image or title has to be clicked to read the whole posts.

  21. Dassana,

    These kabab’s looks sooo delicious 😀 Cannot wait for the recipe on pita bread. It looks unbelievably good!

    1. after a long time kiran… what a pleasant surprise. will check out your blog in a while.

  22. The shaami kababs looks absolutely delicious. And now, I cant wait to read your post on the Pita Bread. You made them like a pro!

    Btw, the white background looks amazing.

    1. thanks familycook. i have made pita bread before also but using different measurements. this time they were different from the earlier recipe i have made before and they were so good.

  23. My husband is non-vegetarian and cook fish and chicken for him even now. I really enjoy cooking them because i know he loves eating them. Also… I truly respect everybody food choices.
    Lovely kebabs!

  24. Hi Dassana,
    Can I use the normal light brown chickpea instead of the black one?

    1. yes you can use the light brown chickpea. you can also make these kababs from green chickpeas.

  25. These are almost similar to our andhra recipe CHANA DAL VADA, but where we mix fresh coriander leaves, onion, cinnamon, cloves, ginger with soaked chanadal paste(rough). not cooked dal. But ur recipe as it cooked , we can fry in little oil which is good in health terms…………
    i will definitely try it………………….

    1. i do make chana dal vada at home but never posted the recipe. as you have rightly pointed out the difference is in the raw and cooked method. you can just pan fry with a little oil also on the tava or non stick tava till crisp & browned on both sides.

  26. These are similar to falafel, aren’t they? And they indeed are tasty. And as usual good pictures that make it more mouth-watering. Will await the pita bread recipe

    1. they are not similar to falafel. these are more denser than falafel and the taste is also typically awadhi. falafel has a different taste altogether and a lighter in texture than these kebabs.

  27. Am sure it is good. Waiting for weekend to try it.

    Looking forward to receive the pita bread recipe.

    Thanks you so much

  28. Dassana the pics are awesome. The kebbabs looks perfect waiting for the Pita bread recipe.

  29. i love love that first picture.. clean, white and the perfect depth! and the kababs look amazing too. i need to try these with the black chickpeas for sure. how is the fam reacting to your trying a vegan diet:)

    1. hubbs is ok. the rest still don’t know that i am going on a vegan diet. if they come to know i will get strange stares and great & lengthy discourses 🙂

  30. Hey Dasana lovely pics pf the pita bread waiting for the recipe…I made your normal white bread recipe it was wonderful and also made the vegan banana cake was a super hit at home …will soon try the kebabs…loves n God bless !

    1. hey bhavna, after a long time i am hearing from you. i hope you and your family are great. i still have to make your potato mayonnaise. thanks for making the recipes as well as your feedback. hugs and god bless you and your family too.

  31. In Old Karnataka area, specially Mysore and Banglore it goes by the name ” Ambode” [AmbaVade]
    In that, only green chilly and red chilli powder and salt is added and then grind it to a rough dow. It is fried in oil till brown and crisp. For better taste Mint leaves are added for fragrance,before grinding. But in your receipe more masala is added which, I am sur will enhance the taste. We shall try it out. Thanks for this new receipe.

    1. thanks for sharing this info ram. i have heard about ambode but never made them at home. the garam masala does enhances the taste of the kababs.

  32. shammi kebab with kala chana sounds interesting.. And Dassana your pita bread puffed up so nice.. I am just staring at the picture..

  33. Dassana both the kabab’s and the clicks are amazing….cant take my eyes off these yummy chana kababs….I make these kabab’s for my kids, only difference in your recipe is adding chickpea flour whereas I add cornflour /bread cumbs for binding, will try your version by replacing cornflour to chickpea flour, surely a better option. Waiting for the pita bread recipe :).

    1. thanks anamika and do try this version. me also waiting to post the pita bread recipe 🙂

  34. Absolutely wonderful!! I make these with the green channa too! Perfect on a rainy day. I am waiting for you the pita recipe.. It looks gorgeous!