Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beef Sheekh Kabab

If I was left alone on an island and could only eat one food for the rest of my life I would pick Sheekh Kababs. I think I know I could eat these for every meal of every day for the rest of my life and still love it as much as the first day I savored the my first bite as a young girl.

What is commonly known as Shish Kabob in America is called Sheekh Kabab in my part of the world. As opposed to using ground meat (the way it is done in many parts of India) in Bangladesh the meat for the kabab is sliced thinly, marinated overnight and grilled over very hot coal, all the while being basted with oil to preserve the succulence of the meat.

Although nothing compares to the lovely charred flavor you get from grilling, it is possible to make it in your home oven like I frequently do. But first, before we move on to the recipe, there are a few details one needs to be mindful of to produce restaurant quality kababs.

Fact 1: Extra moisture can very easily ruin the kabab. After one quick rinse the meat needs to be dried completely with a paper towel to get rid of extra water.

Fact 2: Meat tenderizer is a must for soft, tender, melt-in-your-mouth kababs.

Fact 3: Water also needs to be squeezed out from all the other pastes.

Fact 4: If using regular yogurt, place in a cheese cloth or paper towel and put in a strainer for a few hours so that extra liquid seeps out.

Fact 5: It is best to get all the masalas, including the tenderizer from an Indian store. The tenderizer from your regular grocery store is salted and will not make the meat tender as it should be. I recommend using Shan brand meat tenderizer.

Enough of my blabbing. Now on to the recipe.


1 pound thinly sliced meat
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon meat tenderizer
½ teaspoon salt (add ¼ teaspoon more if you like your food salty)
½ cup fried onion (also sold in Indian grocery stores)
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons greek yogurt/ strained yogurt
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons oil

First, the slices need to be as thin as possible.

Gather all the dry masalas together.

Mix it all together and sprinkle it on.

It’ll be hard to coat all the pieces because the meat should have no water other than what’s inside. 

Remember, your hands are your best tools for the job.

Let it rest while you mix all the other ingredients. Mash up the mozzarella with the palm of your hands till it turns into a paste form.

Mix everything together and marinate overnight.

I usually stick the skewers in an empty soda bottle filled with water, close the lid and let it sit for 30 minutes before using. Otherwise the wood will catch fire in your oven.
Trust me, it will not be a pretty sight... :p 

After waiting overnight (or a few hours if you are impatient), thread the slices onto the skewers that have been taken out of the water and wiped dry.

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the kababs over and bake for  another 15 minutes.

Depending on your oven the kababs should be ready. If you like it a bit more charred, broil for a few more minutes.

Enjoy with naan and raita. :)


  1. Will make it tomorrow, loving your posts, keep up the good work!!! Love :)

  2. I am eating the kabab right now and writing as well, it is that awesome!!!Thanks buddy for sharing...<3

  3. I still don't remember how I ended up seeing your page, but thanks to you for sharing all these awesome recipes here. I made the kebabs last night and it turned out amazing. Thank you once again and just wondering if you have the traditional chicken roast (wedding style) recipe to share??

  4. I'm glad you liked it. Comments like these keep me motivated. :)

    I do have a traditional roast recipe that I'll be putting up soon Nawshin. I'm just waiting for school to end so I can start posting again. Check back in week or two. :)