These spiced beef kebabs by Nik Sharma may have a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that put you off. The intense flavors of these beauties, along with the tartness of pickled red onions, are a revelation. Indian cooking at its best.
These spiced beef kebabs are intensely reminiscent of Indian street food. Served with a tangy red onion pickle, they’re a wonderful appetizer if you’re in the mood to share or, if you find you simply can’t stop at one, make them more substantial meal with the addition of flatbreads and raita. Either way, everyone will be fighting over the last kebab.–Angie Zoobkoff
Why Use Dried Herbs Rather Than Fresh?
When making kebabs, the author of this recipe prefers dried herbs to fresh for mixing into the meat mixture for the simple reason that they contain very little to no water and, hence, are quite a lot more potent in flavor than their fresh counterparts.
Spiced Beef Kebabs
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 2 H, 15 M
- Serves 4 to 8
Special Equipment: 1 pint (480 ml) canning jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- For the red onions
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- For the beef kebabs
- 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade chickpea flour*
- 2 Thai chiles, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- One (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
- Make the red onions
- 1. Pack the onions and cilantro in a clean 1-pint (480 ml) canning jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- 2. In a cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet set over medium-high heat, toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, swirling the seeds occasionally so they toast evenly, 30 to 60 seconds. Toss the seeds into the jar with the onions. Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Seal the jar and shake a few times. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Make the kebabs
- 3. In a large bowl, mix the beef, onion, egg, chickpea flour, chiles, garlic, ginger, lime juice, cayenne, coriander, mint, cinnamon, sage, dill, and salt. Divide into 14 equal parts and shape them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) patties.
- 4. In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, warm about 2 tablespoons oil. Fry the kebabs in batches, adding more oil as needed, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
- 5. Transfer the kebabs to a platter, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve with the pickled red onions.
*How To Make Your Own Chickpea Flour
- If you’re unable to find chickpea flour, as some of our home cooks were, simply get your hands on some dried garbanzo beans, blitz them in a clean spice grinder, and sift. You’ll be left with exactly the same thing as what you’d buy.