Dum Kabab

No matter how many lasagnes I make, or how many pastas I bake, I always come back to good old Pakistani food, or food, as I call it. It truly hits the spot and reminds me of being home. I love making chicken handi (if you follow me on snapchat {famarana}, you’ll see I make it once a week), but sometimes, if I want something a little more decadent, I’ll go for something more special, like Dum Kabob. I make them with ground beef, and I cook the masala for ages, taking them a notch above regular old chapli kabobs. It’s not really a labor intensive recipe, but I make these in two steps, which actually makes it easier, and a little more delcious.


Here’s what you’ll need (to serve 3-5): 

For the kabobs:

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, chopped into quarters

1 cup fresh coriander or cilantro leaves

3 green chillies

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp crushed red peppers

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1 Tblspn ginger garlic paste

1 egg

1/4-1/3 cup besan (chickpea flour)

For the Masala:

1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 tomatoes, seeded and thinly sliced

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp salt (adjust if needed)

water as needed

oil as needed

fresh coriander or cilantro for garnish

serve with fresh naan

For the kabobs it’s simple. Just put the onion, green chillies and coriander leaves in a chopper and pulse until it’s almost a paste. In a bowl mix together the ground beef, seasonings, onions mix, egg, ginger garlic paste, and besan(chickpea flour). Cover the kabob mixture and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, just to let everything combine(you can leave them overnight as well). The size of the kabobs is up to you. I normally use a spoon that measures out 3 Tblspn of the meat mixture to make each kabob. Fry them in a little oil, just cooking them 3-4 minutes on either side. The idea is to get a good char on both sides, but not necessarily to cook them through.


Now moving on to the masala. In a wide cooking pan that has a lid, heat some oil, about 1/4 cup, and sauté the onions till they’re light golden brown. Stir occasionally so they cook evenly. Once they are light golden brown add the tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and seasonings and sauté over medium high heat, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Take the lid off and stir in 1/2 cup water, and keep stirring and breaking the tomatoes and onions with your cooking spoon. The masala will start to break down and the oil will separate. Keep cooking, adding water if needed(if the masala dries up) and cook for a total of about 15-20 minutes. The extra cooking time adds enormous amounts of flavour, and you won’t regret the extra time spent.

Here’s where you can do things a little differently. If you’re cooking a small amount, say just this recipe, then add the fried kabobs into the masala and simmer them with the lid on for a few minutes, hence giving them the name, Dum Kabob.


If you’re cooking for a larger group, and say tripling the recipe, transfer the kabobs into a baking dish and divide the masala over each kabob. Then cover with foil and bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes.


This recipe does have two steps, and it’s not the quickest recipe i’ve posted, but the time and effort is worth it, and a little prep goes a long way. When I make these in bulk, I get the beef mixture prepared and in the fridge a night before, and chop the tomatoes and onions for the malala a night before too. Then the day of I just have to do the actual cooking.

Happy cooking!

One thought on “Dum Kabab

  1. Pingback: Chicken Drop Kabobs | all things food

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