Learn how to make Pakistani Seekh Kabab in your oven! Pakistani seekh kabab is usually made of ground beef and grilled. This recipe makes a healthier, fuss-free, baked version.
What are Pakistani Seekh Kabob?
A little Google-fueled research and I discovered that the word ‘seekh’ is Persian for skewered meat and ‘kabob’ literally means meat cooked over a charcoal fire. So the seekh kabob is skewered meat cooked over a charcoal fire. Admittedly, I created the hollows of my kabobs using chopsticks and my ‘charcoal fire’ is precisely 450 degrees Farenheight in the oven.
I try to make modern South Asian cooking less fussy (skipping the Mughal-level opulence) and more an attempt to keep our grip on the depth of flavors that make it special.
Pakistani-style seekh kabobs are perked up with onions, garlic, ginger, green chili peppers and garnished with fresh cilantro, mint, and spices.
How to make Baked Pakistani Seekh Kabob
Though these are baked, I like to pan-sear them after baking. You could also use a skillet grill. This gives them that irresistible extra oomph and color. Of course, you could just broil them in the oven (I’ve included the instructions), but my broiling is usually a little uneven so I stick to browning them on the stovetop.
Tea for Turmeric Tips on how to make Baked Pakistani Seekh Kabobs
1. What type of beef should I use?
For this recipe, I recommend using regular ground beef (not lean). This will help your kabobs stay tender and moist because of the extra fat.
2. Should I rinse the meat?
I don’t know if it’s “normal” to rinse your meat (some say it’s unsafe), but I always give my meat a little rinse. I’ve tried making these kabobs without rinsing the beef, and it makes them easier to handle. I’d say if you normally rinse your meat, then go for it. Just don’t overdo the rinsing and make sure to squeeze out any excess water.
3. What if I don’t have skewers on hand? Are they easy to shape?
High five! I didn’t have skewers either. I just used chopsticks to shape them. Shaping them can be tricky at first, but just work with it gently and swiftly. I’m not too meticulous about the shape, but feel free to make them longer, thinner, or more hollow as desired.
4. Why 2 pounds of meat?
These are crowd-pleasers, so I generally make a 2-pound batch for guests. If not, I like to freeze half the batch for later. (They last for months and perfect to serve to company for an afternoon chai.) After baking, only sear the amount you want to have immediately. Then seal the rest in an airtight container and freeze for later.
Baked Pakistani Seekh Kabob serving suggestions
Yogurt raita or my green chutney (pictured here is a must-try fig chutney from my friend Shahla’s blog) are an ideal accompaniment to these kabobs. Its cool creaminess contrasts with the intense, meaty flavor of the beef. Naan, rice, and crunchy vegetables also go wonderfully with these.
Can Baked Pakistani Seekh Kabobs be made with a mix of beef and lamb
I have not tried to make these with a mix of beef and lamb. If you do try it, be sure to keep a lookout as the cooking time may differ.
How to freeze Baked Pakistani Seekh Kabobs
After shaping, the kabobs can be frozen. The day you want to bake the Pakistani Seekh Kabobs, allow them to thaw on the countertop and then bake before guests arrive. Right before the guests arrive, you can sear them!
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If you like this, I recommend:
Pan-Fried Pakora + Simple Green Chutney (which goes wonderfully with these kabobs)
Easy Oven-Baked Pakistani Seekh Kabob (Ground Beef Skewers)
- 2 lb regular ground beef not lean
- 2 medium onions peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 green chili peppers such as Serrano cut in half
- 1/4- cup cilantro leaves
- 1 tbsp mint leaves
- 1/2 tbsp crushed garlic
- 1/2 tbsp crushed ginger
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- ¼ tsp red chili pepper or cayenne or more to taste
- 2 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 large egg whisked
- Rinse briefly (if desired) and strain any excess moisture from the ground beef. Place into a large bowl.
- Cut the onions into wedges and add to a food processor. Finely chop them using the pulse function. Remove the onions, squeeze out the excess moisture between your hands, and add to the ground beef.
- Finely chop the cilantro, mint, and green chili peppers in the food processor and add to the beef mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- When ready to shape the kebabs, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Take a large piece of the meat and form into a hearty roundish shape. Run the kebab skewers through the meat and use your hands to envelope around the meat form a sausage-like shape around the skewer. If you want to make the traditional seekh shape and do not have skewers, use chopsticks to help shape them and slide the kabobs onto the baking sheet.
- To test a piece for taste, heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of oil and place a piece of the beef mixture on the pan to cook, turning over as needed. Taste and adjust salt and seasoning if desired. Place the shaped kebabs on the baking sheet and bake for 14-15 minutes, gently turning them over mid-way.
- Remove them from the oven. (See notes for broiling instructions.) If you want to freeze half the batch to serve later, do so after allowing them to cool.