A dish steeped in History, Shami kebabs just went vegetarian, check out these vegetable shami kebabs.

Vegetable Shami Kebabs

As the legend goes, these kebabs were first introduced by Arabian chefs for Mughal rulers, actually a toothless Mughal ruler! 🙂 I have always been a fan of kebabs. Grilled, minced, sheikh, they all look so appealing. As always, I found a vegetarian work-around and came up with these kebabs for a potluck party I was attending. Made for 20 guests but finished by 12 since the 8 arrived late! Now, that is considered a hit dish, ain’t it?

Vegetable Shami Kebabs

Potato and cheese/paneer blend together like a couple in love. With greens added in them , the crunch of golden garlic, and the aroma of spices, these little nuggets have it all.

Vegetable Shami Kebabs

For vegan and kid-friendly options, please check the “My Take” section. Served with some onion/cabbage salad & mint chutney or ketchup or…… some salsa, this dish will sure make you say, “No one can eat just one!”

Vegetable Shami Kebab


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup shredded paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 3/4 cup boiled and mashed potato
  • 8 Oz / 200 g Spinach
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (I like to use fresh garlic as opposed to the bottled ones)
  • 2 tsp paprika/red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


  1. Add spinach into boiling water for a min. Throw the hot water out and submerge them in some cold water. This helps keep the green of the spinach alive.
  2. Take the spinach out of the water. Be sure to squeeze out excess water. Chop the spinach leaves.
  3. Add the shredded paneer, mashed potatoes and chopped spinach in a mixing bowl.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil, add the minced garlic. When the garlic turns golden brown, add the powdered spices (red chili powder, garam masala & cumin powder). After about 30 seconds when the spice powders are all coated with oil, add this mixture into the bowl.
  5. Top it with some salt and mix well.
  6. Divide them into 12-15 equal portions. Shape them into patties/nuggets.
  7. Heat up the oil for frying. Check if the oil is hot by adding a miniature patty into the oil. If it rises to the top in 10-15 seconds, you have nailed it. If it does not, give it a slight nudge and it will rise anyway and you have nailed it! :D
  8. Drop the patties in but do not overcrowd the oil (doing so will bring the temperature of the oil down).
  9. Once they turn golden on both sides, transfer them onto some paper towels.

My Take:

Go vegan and substitute tofu for paneer. Skip the spices for a portion of the mixture and make it kid-friendly. No chewing involved you see!

If the patties break in oil, roll them in cornstarch before frying them.

Be sure to roast the spices in oil before adding it into the patties. Roasting & not roasting result in completely different flavors.

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  1. Yumm..Ur presentation is sooo gud..I just wanna eat it out of that picture 🙂

    Ive always wanted to ask u for a recipe.. U used to bring it for lunch to school. Shaped like bangles and tasted like urad vadas..They used to be yumm.. Can u please post/share a recipe for that dish..

    • Hey Ranjita!
      Thanks you! U remember them? Aww.. Sweet of you 🙂 I will surely share the recipe for them. If I am unable to take pictures and post on the blog immediately, I will mail the recipe to you.

  2. I am going to make these today, they look yummy. I love your cooking Prash

  3. Hi prash ..I tried these kebabs..they tasted good though but broke while frying..d moment I wud put them in the frying, they wud disintegrate!!please let me know if I can add something in the mixture as a binding agent instead of rolling the kebabs into cornstarch.

    • Hi Nitee. Water content in the potatoes and the mixture is one of the reasons. do try rolling it corn flour. That creates a barrier between the oil and the moisture. Else, you can add some bread crumbs or flour into the mixture as binding agent. Hope this helps.

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