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Indian Cuisines

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Shami Kebab

A Shami Kebab is a small patty of minced beef, mutton or chicken and ground chickpeas and spices.

Shami kebabs are an extremely popular snack in India, Pakistan, & Bangladesh. They are often garnished with lemon juice and/or sliced raw onions, and are usually eaten with chutney made from mint or coriander. They are also served along with Sheer Qorma on Muslim Eid Days.

A variation of Shami Kebab is found in Bangladeshi cuisine. The recipe is almost the same but it tastes different from the original version. Beef Shami Kebab is the most popular.

The origin of the name of the dish is a mystery. One argument is that Sham refers to Syria and these kebabs literally means Syrian kebabs in Arabic. Another source states that Sham is evening in Hindi and Urdu and sham-e-Awadh, evening in Lucknow of yore. A parochial perfumer from Kannauj offered an explanation linking the spices used with the seductive whiff of an itr called shamama.

Shami kebabs were immortalized in Grant Naylor's science fiction series Red Dwarf, where character David Lister was nearly killed by an alien masquerading as his favorite supper.

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