Learn to make Afghan Shami Kabab or Lola Kabab, a flavorful dish with ground meat, lentils, and spices. Step-by-step instructions and nutritional info included.

Afghan Shami Kabab is beloved for its unique spice blend and tender texture, achieved through a meticulous preparation method that includes mixing ground meat with lentils, onions, and spices. These patties are shallow-fried to a golden brown, resulting in a crispy exterior and juicy interior. This dish's versatility allows it to be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or main course, often paired with rice, bread, or salad. Its irresistible taste and cultural significance make it a must-try for those exploring Afghan cuisine.

Here's a recipe for Afghan Shami Kabab, also known as Lola Kabab:


For the Kababs:

  • 500g ground beef or lamb
  • 1 cup split chickpeas (chana dal), soaked for 3-4 hours and drained
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For Coating:

  • 1-2 eggs, beaten
  • Bread crumbs


1. Prepare the Chickpeas:

After soaking the split chickpeas for 3-4 hours, drain them and put them in a pot with fresh water. Boil them until they're soft but not mushy, usually for about 15-20 minutes. Drain and let them cool.

2. Grind Chickpeas:

In a food processor, grind the boiled chickpeas into a coarse paste. Ensure it's not too smooth but still has some texture. This will act as a binding agent for your kababs.

3. Mix Meat and Chickpeas:

In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef or lamb with the chickpea paste. Add the finely chopped onion, minced garlic, grated ginger, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, and salt. Mix everything together thoroughly. You can use your hands for this to ensure an even mix.

4. Shape the Kababs:

Take a portion of the mixture and shape it into round or oval kababs. You can make them as large or small as you prefer. Make sure they are compact and hold their shape.

5. Coat the Kababs:

Dip each kabab in beaten eggs and then coat them with bread crumbs. This will give them a crispy exterior when fried.

6. Heat Oil:

Heat oil in a deep pan or skillet over medium heat. You'll want enough oil to shallow fry the kababs.

7. Fry the Kababs:

Carefully place the kababs in the hot oil and fry until they're golden brown on both sides, which should take about 4-5 minutes per side. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, and fry them in batches if necessary.

8. Drain and Serve:

Once the kababs are cooked and have a beautiful golden color, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain any excess oil.

9. Serve:

Afghan Shami Kababs are often served with naan, flatbread, or pita along with a side of fresh salad and chutney. Enjoy the flavors of Afghanistan in the comfort of your home.

These Shami Kababs are a delightful blend of spices and textures and can be a perfect addition to your culinary repertoire.

Nutritional Values:

Nutritional values for the ingredients in Afghan Shami Kabab can vary based on factors like the specific type of meat used and the brand of products you choose. However, I can provide you with approximate nutritional values for some common ingredients used in this recipe:

Ground Beef (500g):

  • Calories: Approximately 715 calories
  • Protein: Approximately 67 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 50 grams
  • Carbohydrates: None

benefit: Provides protein and essential nutrients like iron and zinc.

Split Chickpeas (1 cup, cooked):

  • Calories: Approximately 210 calories
  • Protein: Approximately 8 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 38 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 8 grams

benefit: Rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and phosphorus.

Onion (1 medium, chopped):

  • Calories: Approximately 46 calories
  • Protein: Approximately 1 gram
  • Fat: Approximately 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 11 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 2 grams

benefit: Adds flavor and contains antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C and fiber.

Garlic (2-3 cloves):

  • Calories: Approximately 4-5 calories
  • Protein: Approximately 0.2 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 1 gram

benefit: Known for its health benefits, including boosting the immune system and reducing blood pressure.

Eggs (1-2, beaten):

  • Calories (per egg): Approximately 68 calories
  • Protein (per egg): Approximately 6 grams
  • Fat (per egg): Approximately 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates (per egg): Approximately 0.6 grams

benefit: Acts as a binding agent and adds richness and flavor.

Bread Crumbs (for coating):

  • Calories (1 cup): Approximately 400-500 calories
  • Protein (1 cup): Approximately 10-15 grams
  • Fat (1 cup): Approximately 2-3 grams
  • Carbohydrates (1 cup): Approximately 80-100 grams

benefit: Helps bind the kabab mixture and adds a crispy texture when fried.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on the specific products and brands you use. Additionally, the method of preparation, including frying the kababs, will add additional calories and fat. If you have specific dietary concerns or requirements, it's advisable to calculate the exact nutritional values based on the specific products you use.


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