Every barbeque season, I look forward to making some wonderful kebabs. May it be ground bean mix, potato patties etc the slight char gives the perfect summer feel. This spicy mix has never failed to tantalise the tastebuds or impress the guests.
Originating with cooking meat on an open fire, the kebabs came with the Persian traders to the Indian subcontinent. This was the popular way of eating the hunted animals. ‘Kebaba’ means to char that gives kebab its name. Sheek is the rods or the skewers. So the minced ingredients wrapped around the skewer became sheek kebabs.
Keep that seasoning coming.
The main ingredients in these baked kebabs are vegetables and potatoes, the seasoning is the one that transforms this mix to spicy lip-smacking sheek kebab. In this recipe, the spice mix is
The chaat masala with the red chillies, garlic and ginger paste makes sure that you reach for a few. So double or triple the recipe as you please.
Prevent it from falling apart
The toasted chickpea flour and the sift mashed potatoes hold the mix together. The other vegetables that you add have to be minced fine too. You can alternatively coarse grind the vegetable mix to add.
The vegetable sheek kebabs are ideal for thicker skewers. I did not have any so used these. This also helps in holding the shape.
Make sure the mix is not too dry or too wet. What you are looking for is a pliable dough texture.
Grilling or baking?
Grilling- For time immemorial grilling us the best way to cook the vegetable sheek kebab. The slight char and the grill marks make it appetizingly pleasing. Fire up the grill brush it with oil and place the kebabs. Flip them when they are slightly charred on one side.
Baking -The second-best way to get a large batch done is baking. Baked kebabs are juicy and succulent. The baked kebabs are the best to meal prep and freeze as well. This is the method described in the recipe card below
Look beyond the two methods. The sheek kebabs can be easily pan-fried or air fried.
Air fry -Lightly brush oil on the prepared vegetable kebabs. Place the kebabs as a single layer with ample space in between. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 15 to 17 minutes ( slight adjustments may be needed based on the model)
Pan fry -lightly coat the pan with a bit of oil and fry the prepared kebabs on medium heat. Don’t forget to turn them around.
Whatever method you choose, don’t miss soaking the bamboo skewers ahead as you don’t want them to burn.
Baked Sheek Kebab
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour ( roasted)
- 8-10 cashew nuts
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/4 tsp fresh ginger root grated
- 1/4 tsp garlic minced
- 1 small green chilli chopped fine.
- 1/4 cup carrots ( grated)
- 1/4 cup green beans. ( finely minced)
- 1/4 cup cauliflower ( grated)
- 1/4 tsp dry mint
- 1.5 cups potato ( boiled, peeled and grated)
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp red chilli powder ( I used Kashmiri chilli powder)
- 1 tsp chhat masala
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 cup green chutney
- Onion salad
- Boil the potatoes (Approximately 2-3 medium ones), let them cool.
- Peel and grate the potatoes and set it aside.
- Grate the carrots, ginger, garlic and cauliflower, finely chop the beans and set it aside.
- On a dry pan, roast the chickpea flour ( besan / Kadala maav) and set aside.
- Roast the cashews too and add it to the chick peas flour.
- Allow them to cool and powder them together into a fine mix.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
- Heat up a frying pan, add the oil and cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
- Now add the ginger garlic, followed by the grated veggies and chopped beans.
- Let the saute and soften, then add the salt, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and coriander powder.
- Mix this well and let them cook with continious mixing.
- When the water content looks well evaporated and the mix is dry, add the grated potatoes and give it a good mix.
- At this point, the mix is reasonably sticky.
- Add the roasted cashewnut and cumin powder to this. Mix and set aside to cool.
- When warm and easier to handle. make small balls of the mix.
- Press down a skewer into each ball and flatten the kebab mix to form about an 1.5 cm thick layer around the skewer.
- Place these prepared skewers on a greased sheet pan.
- Place the sheet pan in the preheated oven.
- The total time is about 30 minutes, at about 15 minutes, turn the kebabs around do the crisp up evenly.
- Brush with oil at 15 minutes mark and you turn them around to give the shiny roasted exterior.
- Remove the kebabs from the oven after cooking and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Place the kebabs to serve on a platter with onion salad and green chutney.
Adding the onionsIn this recipe, we have avoided the onions as they make the dough harder to handle. If you like to add onions, the best suggestion will be to use, caramelised ones made into a paste or crispy fried ones that are powdered.
How to put sheek kebab together as a meal?
On the stick kebabs make it easy to eat on the go, no cutlery needed. Yet if I am putting a platter together for friends and family here is my sought out combo.
Layer the platter with jackfruit biriyani (or another type you like) lay the sheek kebabs on top of this and line it up with laccha pyaaz salad. On the side keep some soothing cucumber raita.
As wrap and go or for an outdoor picnic, use thick chutney on a plain paratha place the baked sheek kebab on top add a few salad veggies if you like, roll it up like a burrito and eat on the go.
Meal prep and storing the kebabs
The sheek kebabs are no doubt flavourful and exciting on any weekday. The primary work involved is mincing and making the skewer. The prepped skewers stay well in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Rather, I will make a whole batch and store the cooked ones. To freeze choose half cooked ones. Give the sheek kebabs a quick pan fry (thaw first) before eating and that keeps the succulent feel and the flavour intact.
Making the sheek kebab was not a natural process for me. With the support of my partner, Sujata, who has suggested this fantastic learning opportunity through Shh cooking secretly blogger group, I attempted it a couple of times before i worked out the correct proportion. We had dry ones, hopelessly falling off ones, grilled and burnt ones before we fixed on this succulent one. Sujata, has an inspiring blog with multiple rosagulla recipe ( I am yet to try them). She has also made a Veg Gauloti Lentil Kebab for this season.
Enjoy making some of these delicious vegetable sheek kebabs. When you do let us know how you like it. Share your experience in the comments. Tag us with your food pics #mildlyindian or @mildlyindian. You could Pin the recipe to your board directly from the recipe card to revive it anytime you need. Hope you like it and stay on with us for more.