Seekh Kebabs

Seekh kebabs are one of my favourite foods….I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

But I feel like good ones are kind of hard to find. I am tired of the disappointment of ordering them and they turn out to be dry and crusty.

So I decided to learn how to make them myself! 

A close up of 3 seekh kebabs on a plate.

Video Tutorial

What are seekh kebabs?

If you’ve never had a seekh kebab before. Let me give a quick explanation.

These kebabs are very popular in Pakistan and India. Essentially all they are is meat….on a stick.

The word ‘seekh’ is referring to the skewers that the kebabs are made on.

Then the actual kebabs are made from minced meat that has been seasoned very well. The ones I made are lamb seekh kebabs, lamb ones are my favourites. But chicken and beef ones are great too.

When it comes to cooking them, they are traditional cooked over an open flame, which gives them a nice toasty smoky flavour.

The flavour is what does it for me, that’s why I love them. All seasonings plus the toasty flavour….they get a 10/10 from me.

3 seekhs kebabs on a plate with some garlic naan, grilled peppers and grilled onions.

What kind of meat to use

The most important ingredient is the meat, you’re going to need around 1kg of minced meat.

Like I mentioned, I made lamb seekh kebabs, but minced beef or chicken works too.

I also wanted to mention, DON’T USE LEAN MEAT.

You need some fat in the meat because one, it will give you tender kebabs. And two, the fat will keep the kebabs together. It will be too hard to form the shapes with lean meat.

Use whatever percentage fat you want. I’ve learnt that some restaurant use meat with A LOT of fat in the seekh kebabs,

But I feel like most people don’t want to be using meat with a large percentage of fat at home. And that’s fine, use whatever percentage you like, but just make sure there is some fat. Personally, I think 20% is perfect.

When it comes to chicken ones, I’ve never tried making chicken ones so take my advice lightly.

But from what I’ve read, minced chicken can have more moisture in them, so it might make it a little hard to form the shapes. If you feel like this is happening to you, adding some gram flour will help soak up the moisture.

So my advice is, if you plan on making chicken seekh kebabs, buy some gram flour, just incase you need it!

The minced lamb after the seasonings had been mixed into it.

Ingredients for the seekh kebabs

Apart from the meat, here are the other ingredients you are going to need for these seekh kebabs:

  • 1 tomato – I used a large one, if you feel like you have very small onions, use 2.
  • 1 onion – again I used a large one, if yours are small, use two. I also used a red onion. I prefer red, but a yellow one works too.
  • Green chillies – Thai chilli peppers are the best to use in my opinion. I used 12, but you can adjust the amount.

The seasonings:

  • Salt
  • Chilli powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Paprika 
  • Basar (curry spice mix)
  • Black pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Garam masala
  • Cumin seeds
  • Ginger
  • Garlic 
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Coriander

These are seasonings I wanted to use, feel free to adjust. Use your favourite seasonings, you also don’t need to use the exact same measurements that I used. Season these however you like!

The seekh kebabs on skewers before being cooked.

Cooking the seekh kebabs

Seekh kebabs are typically cooked over an open flame. Most people don’t have an open flame lying around in their house, so we’re going to cook them a little differently.

Just a heads up, I’ve not given exact cooking times. It’s hard to give an exact time, because so many factors effect the timing. 

The kind of meat you use changes the cooking time, the thickness or your kebabs changes it, and so does whatever cooking method you decide to go with.

So just keep an eye on them. I recommend cooking only 1 first, until it is cooked through. This will give you and idea on how long they will need. TRY NOT to overcook them though, they will become dry!

Here are a few ways you can cook these kebabs. I’ve put them in order from my favourite way, to my least favourite:

Under your grill/broiler

This is the best way in my opinion. I feel like it does the best job at emulating that toasty flavour an open flame gives, especially if you have a gas grill. 

All you need to do is add your kebabs, with the skewers in them, onto a wire rack. Then place this rack onto a tray.

Place all this under your grill that is on medium heat, and cook until browned and fully cooked through. Once done, brush them with some melted butter.

Pan-frying them

If you have a cast iron skillet, this will work great, if not a regular pan works too.

Form your kebabs on the skewers, then gently take them off the skewers. If you’re finding it hard to take them off, it might help to freeze them for about 10-20 minutes.

Heat your pan over medium heat, then add some neutral oil, such as vegetable oil. Add your kebabs into this and cook, turning them frequently, until done.

Air-frying them

Remove the kebabs from the sewers then add them into your air fryer.

Spray or brush them with some oil or butter then cook at 200c/400f , making sure to flip them to cook both sides.

Baking them

Pre-heat your oven to 220c/425f.

Place your kebabs on a tray. If your skewers fit in the oven, cook them while on the sewers, if not, take them off.

Brush them with some oil or melted butter, then cook until done. Make sure to flip them to cook both sides. Once done, brush with some more butter.

The seekh kebabs after they had been cooked.

The skewers

To get the seekh kebabs shapes, you need kebabs skewers. These are typically melted, and they are thicker than a regular wooden skewer.

If you don’t have these, you don’t need to go buy some.

Instead you can just get a few wooden skewers, or chopsticks, and wrap them with some tinfoil. These will work just as well. 

Here are a few other savoury recipes that I’ve posted, that I love:

Seekh Kebabs

5.0 from 3 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 large tomato

  • 1 large onion

  • 12 green chillies

  • 1kg minced lamb, about 20% fat (you can use whatever meat you prefer)

  • The seasonings:
  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 2 teaspoons chilli flakes

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon basar (curry spice mix)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • A handful of coriander

  • Extras:
  • Some melted salted butter to brush onto the kebabs

  • Some garlic naan, to serve with the kebabs (optional)

  • Onions and peppers, to also serve with the kebabs (optional)

Directions

  • Start by adding your tomato, onion and green chillies into a food processor. Pulse this until these ingredients are finely chopped, you don't want to grind them into a paste, just until they are finely chopped.
  • Once chopped, use your hands, or a muslin/cheese cloth, to squeeze the liquids out of this mixture. Add this into your minced meat, a long with all the seasonings. Mix all this until well combined.
  • Cover this meat, then leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight is best.
  • Cooking the seekh kebabs
  • About 10 minutes before you're ready to cook your kebabs, turn your grill/broiler onto medium heat. If you want to bake, air-fry or pan-fry these instead, I've included how to do this above in this blog post.
  • To get the seekh kebabs shapes, you need kebab skewers. These are metal and are thicker than regular skewers. If you don't have these, that's fine. Just wrap a few wooden skewers, or chopsticks, with some tinfoil.
  • To form the kebabs, use slightly oiled hands and form the meat around your skewers. Try not to make them too thick, they will take too long to cook in the centre. My kebabs were around 18cm long but you can make them as long or as short as you want.
  • Place these under your grill and cook until browned on both sides and fully cooked through. Make sure to flip them, so both sides can cook. The timing will vary, just keep and eye on them, it took around 6-8 minutes for me. Once cooked, I brushed them with some melted butter.
  • I also chopped an onion into 4 pieces, and cut square pieces of red pepper. I stuck these onto a skewer too, then grilled until they were nice and toasty. You don't need to do this, but it's nice to have on the side with the kebabs.
  • Once they have been cooked, take them off the skewers and dig in whiles they're still hot, enjoy!
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