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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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Thursday 31st of March 2011

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


Thursday 3rd of December 2009

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...


Tuesday 10th of November 2009

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.

Divina Pe

Monday 9th of November 2009

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.


Monday 9th of November 2009

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