Vegetarian Soya Shami Kebabs

Traditionally, a “shami” kebab is a small fried patty made of cooked, minced goat or lamb. The version featured here is the vegetarian version made using soya granules.  My mother in law who is vegetarian insisted that I try one. They are healthy as well as delicious – soya granules, rice, carrots, scallions, egg, bread crumbs, fresh herbs like mint and cilantro. For a pure vegetarian experience you can add extra bread crumbs and skip the egg altogether.

This recipe has been adapted from famous Indian author, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook.

The one important step when using soya granules is that is has to be boiled properly because soya has a peculiar smell which you can get rid of after boiling it. After it’s boiled, squeeze the water out of it thoroughly. Nutrela High Protein Soya Granules  can also be found at your local Indian grocery store.

I serve this with green chutney or tomato ketchup.


  • 1 cup dried soya granules, boiled and water squeezed out of it
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked plain white rice
  • 6-8 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 4 scallions, cut crosswise into very fine rings- white and lower half of the green sections
  • 1/2 tablespoon of peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 fresh hot green chillies- finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
Boil soya granules well and squeeze all the water out of it.
Coarsely grind the soya with the cooked rice in a food processor.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add scallions, ginger, garlic, carrot and green chillies. Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until very lightly browned.
Empty this into the soya and rice mixture. Add cilantro, mint, garam masala, red chilly powder, salt and pepper to taste. Taste for seasonings.
Put egg and bread crumbs and mix well.The mixture should be firm enough to form into balls or patties. Add more crumbs to hold if necessary.
Heat non-stick pan with 3 tablespoons oil on medium heat. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until they develop a rich, dark, reddish brown crust on both sides.
Drain briefly on paper towels and serve hot.
Note: This mixture can be kept in the  fridge for 3 days in a plastic container. It’s a great make ahead appetizer for a party.



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