November 7, 2009

Vegetarian Shammi Kebabs…

vegetarian shammi kebabs

…made with plantains and paneer

This veggie version of shammi kebabs by the charming Sanjay Thumma (Vahchef from is a recipe I successfully played around with today. Sadly Sanjay doesn’t really give precise measurements in his cooking videos on Youtube but I watched his video which you can find here a couple of times and had a good guess. I’ve changed his recipe a bit to suit my taste and fortunately it turned out quite delicious. My dad (a.k.a Vahchef’s biggest fan) had been telling me to make these for ages and I just hadn’t had the chance, although now it is here in all its glory, just for you guys!

The recipe calls for green bananas (plantains) to be mashed with channa dal which I didn’t have in my cupboard (oh the shame). So I cheated the system and used yellow split mung dal (the kind you use in gujarati kachori). When it has been boiled and mashed you really can’t tell that Mr channa dal has been substituted with his good mate Mr mung dal. Great stuff.

Oh and I must add; “mmm… pomegranates!”

Vegetarian Shammi Kebabs (makes 6)

Ingredients for the outside layer

½ cup boiled mung dal
2 green bananas, boiled and mashed
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 green chillies, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped finely
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander seed powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Salt to taste
1 tbsp sunflower oil

green bananas plantain

Green bananas a.k.a Plantains

Ingredients for stuffing

Fresh paneer made from 2 pints whole milk (around 1 cup fresh paneer)
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped finely
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
¼ tsp white chilli powder
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste

Sunflower oil to shallow fry


1. Heat the oil in a non stick pan, add the cumin seeds, onions, garlic, chillies, ginger, asafoetida, turmeric, garam masala and coriander seed powder. Cook for 3 minutes on a medium heat.

2. Add the lemon juice, salt and boiled mung dal. Cook for a further two minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chopped coriander and plantains. Mash again with a potato masher and allow to cool and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl mix together the ingredients for the stuffing. Roll these into ping-pong sized balls, using a little water to bind if necessary.

vegetarian shammi kebabs 2

Pretty little pomegranate jewels
Now assemble the kebabs…
vegetarian shammi kebabs 3
Begin by flattening the plantain and mung dal, treating it like a dough and placing a ball of paneer stuffing on top
vegetarian shammi kebabs 4
Pull the outer layer over the stuffing, roll into a ball and patch it up so there aren’t any cracks
vegetarian shammi kebabs 5
Like this
vegetarian shammi kebabs 6
Flatten a little and round the edges off with your hands

Repeat for all of the kebabs. Shallow fry these in a little oil until golden brown or alternatively bake in a moderate oven until browned (I shallow fried mine).

vegetarian shammi kebabs 7

Grab ’em while they’re hot!
Tip: These are really good with salad and your favourite chutney in pitta bread, tortilla wraps or even in burger buns (I like to toast mine). Go on, treat your family and friends to these vegetarian shammi kebabs!

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21 responses to “Vegetarian Shammi Kebabs…”

  1. Kathy Gori says:

    ok, I've got everything for this recipe right here in the house. you keep coming up with things for me to do!

  2. prasu says:

    hey Sanja………..what a lovely space have Dear!!!!!! I really liked the way of ur presentation……….all the posts are looking tempting…….started fallowing ur blog…… i will be frequently peeking here….keep rocking dear.

  3. Pari says:

    Hi Sanjana, The kababs look fabulous dear.Liked the idea of blendind plantain and moong.
    To my understanding of Shami kababs they are never stuffed, they are very delicately flavored and delicate otherwise also(handle with care).
    Nevertheless, your version is worth trying with that beautiful stuffing.
    I also tried making veg ones, check out if u like

  4. citronetvanille says:

    That's something I would love! unfortunately unlike kathi I don't have everything in the house 🙁

  5. kamalabhoopathy says:

    Nice and different, lovely presentation

  6. Nandini says:

    Yeah! The vah vhef doesn't give exact measurements sometimes. Anyway, those kebabs are awesome and elegant! Nice too!

  7. Vidya Rao says:

    It cant get better than this…bet it!! Excellent presentation and the kebabs looks gorgeous!

  8. MaryMoh says:

    Oh Sanjana, that looks so pretty, healthy and delicious. I wish you can make for me 🙁 I think I will eat several pieces.

  9. meeso says:

    Wowie, that looks amazing! And it would help me use up my pomegranate seeds!

  10. Sanjana says:

    Kathy- I'm sorry I'm making you so busy! Enjoy!

    Prasu- Thank you so much for your lovely comments and your support, I really appreciate it!

    Pari- Oh I really didn't know that they weren't stuffed *blush* I just followed Sanjay's recipe but thank you so much for letting me know! The ones you have made on your blog are so neat and beautiful! Really nice 🙂 The paneer stuffing makes this so yummy so even if it isn't technically authentic shammi kebab, it still tastes good 😉 Thank you for your informative comment, I really appreciate it!

    Citronetvanille- Aww, well I hope you get to enjoy them another time 🙂

    Kamalabhoopathy- Thank you for your lovely comments!

    Nandini- Ah, I know what you mean 🙂 But I still love watching Vahchef, he really is great 🙂 Thank you for you sweet compliments!

    Vidya- Thank you so much for saying such lovely things! 😀

    Mary- I wish I could send you some! I would send you lots!

    Meeso- Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for you lovely comments. The pomegranates and so yummy in this dish, enjoy!

  11. Rohini says:

    Yummy looking ones..! Wish I could grab a few of them right from the screen!! *Why is the technology still behind??*
    Am a sucker for such snacks and yours have been bookmarked! 🙂

  12. Sushma Mallya says:

    perfect snack for party…looks really mouthwatering…

  13. Sandhya Hariharan says:

    Looks delicious….
    Am a good follower of Vah Re Vah.. Its a total hit with his cooking most of the times..

  14. Tasty Trix says:

    These are beautiful! What a cool flavor combo, mmmm.

  15. experimentalculinarypursuits says:

    Sanjana, these look soooo good! I'll have to get myself all these ingredients so I can make it too!

  16. SE(Denufood) says:

    hi sanjana..thanks for stopping by at my blog..hey you've got a wonderful collection with great clicks..these kababs are looking so delicious..a perfect snack.

  17. Stacy says:

    I want some! Can you mail me a few? 🙂 I love plantains!

  18. Divina Pe says:

    Wow, Sanjana, that looks very interesting. Your dad is right. 🙂 I hope you can make these for me too. I would love to do it together. I didn't know that they're also called kebabs.

  19. cmiranda says:

    I've never tried or heard of shammi kebabs but these look absolutely delicious.Here's another recipe I'll have to add to my collection to definately try.

  20. Beatrice says:

    I've tried (with pupusas) the technique of rolling a ball and then flattening it into a disc — mine never come out looking anywhere as neat as yours. I suppose I just need to keep working at it…

  21. Renu says:

    Hi Sanjana,
    Thanks so much for sharing such a Yummy recipe.
    Cheers 🙂

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