Vegetarian Shami (Bengal Gram) Kebabs

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs (Bengal gram Patties)

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs or Kaale Chane ki Tikki…I could give this as many names as I wish but these kebabs would taste absolutely heavenly either ways! Shami Kebabs are a very popular variety of kebabs not only in Indian cuisine but also other south Asian countries. Although, traditionally these are made with minced meat, there are quite a few meat and non-meat versions that exist.

We made ours using Bengal gram or kale chane as we call it in Hindi. We mix up the cooked Bengal gram with a few Indian spices and herbs and pan fry these to get melt in your mouth kinda kebabs. Yeah, we use that term a lot around here for the kebabs we make but that’s what these are. The addition of ground cardamom gives it that kebab-like flavor that we all love.

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs (Bengal gram Patties)

Such a healthy and versatile recipe, the options are absolutely endless. Play around with spices and herbs and make patties for your burgers with these too.

You should know this is also a great make ahead recipe that you could keep in a warm oven until you are ready to serve/ eat.

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs (Bengal gram Patties)

We also did a little experiment with photography this time around. All pictures (other than the second one) were taken in a room with the curtains drawn, low natural light, slow shutter speed (15 seconds) and a small aperture (f/8.0).  We were not too sure how the pictures would come out but for a first time attempt with these settings, it wasn’t bad- or so we think. Maybe our photographer buddies could throw some “light” on this? (pun intended?) Patty, you hear us? 😉

So let’s get right into it and tell you how make these kebabs:

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs

Yield: 10-12 medium sizes kebabs


  • 2 cups cooked Bengal gram (kaale chane), see notes below for instructions
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 7-10 fresh mint leaves, minced
  • Salt to taste(start with about 1 teaspoon)
  • a dash of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon besan
  • A few tablespoons coconut or olive oil to pan fry


  1. In a food processor or a mixer, grind the cooked bengal gram. Transfer these to a mixing bowl.
  2. Then, to the mixing bowl, add in all the remaining ingredients except the oil and mix this well until it all comes together. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  3. Then form round patties and lay them on a plate/ baking sheet and keep them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to fry them.
  4. In a non-stick pan, heat two tablespoons of oil on medium heat and fry the patties until golden brown and crisp on each side. You can deep fry these as well if you prefer to.
  5. Serve with tamarind chutney & some lemon wedges.


1. To cook the Bengal gram, soak 1 ¼ cup dried Bengal gram in water for about 8 hours or overnight and cook in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water until the water has dried up (about 4-5 whistles). If you do not have a pressure cooker, it may take longer to cook these but you can do so by boiling the soaked Bengal gram in a pan with 4 cups of water on medium heat with the lid covered for about 2-3 hours checking every 30 minutes.

2. The kebabs also bake perfectly in the oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and greased well at 400 F for about 15-20 minutes on each side.

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs (Bengal gram Patties)


  1. Those kebabs look incredibly delicious! I have to try them.

  2. Hello CeeBees!! Nice to have you guys back – I loved the coconut ladoos but couldn’t comment from my phone. These kabobs take me straight back to my childhood – my grandmother made something similar but it also had meat in it. The photos turned out really well. There is a group (community) on G+ for food photos – they are very helpful and there is lots of info on there too xxx

    • Thank you, Selma. Will take a look at this group. Aren’t these kebabs just awesome? These are traditionally made with meat in India too so this is the vegetarian version and we love it better than the meat ones!

  3. These look just completely scrumptious! Your photos are to die for, as always! 😀

  4. I love kala chana kebabs! The pictures look really good to me though I am not an expert :). You are so right Aditee, it is such a versatile recipe :).

  5. Those are just wonderful, I never heard of Bengal Gram before, it looks like a legume. The Kebab look delicious.

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