Bavette Shami Kebabs, Black Cardamom, Cumin & Cinnamon

by Sumayya Usmani

Starter Easy ​​​​​​​ 6 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 3 hours


400g of bavette steak

50g of channa daal, soaked for about 30 minutes-overnight before cooking

1 cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom pods

1 tsp black cumin, or regular cumin if not available

1 tsp coriander seeds

2 star anise

dried red chillies, 2-3

1 tsp black peppercorns

cloves, 8-10

1 knob of ginger, 1/2 inch in length, very finely chopped

1/2 bunch of coriander, finely chopped

20 mint leaves, finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

vegetable oil, for shallow frying


1. To begin, add the first 10 ingredients to a heavy-based saucepan and add 1 ½ pint of water. Bring to a boil then return to a simmer, cover with a lid and leave to cook for about 3 hours on a low heat. Keep checking to make sure the meat doesn’t stick at the bottom and ensure that you stir it occasionally. Do not add any more water

2. After about 2 hours or so, check to see that all of the moisture has gone, the meat is tender and falling apart and the lentils are mushy

3. Break and pull apart the meat and add the finely chopped ginger, chopped mint, coriander and green chillies. Mix until combined with the meat

4. Measure out approximately 2 tbsp of the meat mixture and using your hands, form flat burger patty shapes to make the shami kebabs. Repeat until all of the mix has been used, then dip each kebab into the egg and set aside on a plate

5. Heat some vegetable oil in a shallow frying pan and once hot, add 3-4 shami kebabs into the pan. Fry for approximately 1 minute on each side, until medium brown all over. Serve hot with any a hot sauce or ketchup