This is the one recipe the kids have been pleading with me to share. Made with ground beef, aromatics and a spice blend that simply ignites the taste buds. Seriously, these Pakistani Seekh Kebabs are so drool-worthy, that you might find yourself eating them straight off the grill. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Top-down view of grilled beef kebabs on skewers atop a naan, decorated on a large round tray with tomato rounds, onion rings, raita and a bunch of fresh cilantro.
Spicy & Juicy Pakistani Seekh Kebabs – A Family Favorite!

In a world where vibrant veggies reign supreme, this blog stands as a testament to their glory – a verdant paradise brimming with plant-based wonders. But today, we’re taking a delightful detour. Enter: the ultimate sidekick to our veggie galore! Feast your eyes on these juicy, oh-so-easy Pakistani kebabs!

Whether they’re round, skewered, or lounging on a roti in a sizzling pan, they’re like a taste of Pakistani cuisine! And oh, the versatility! These easy minced beef kebabs can transform into burgers, grace wraps, accompany Basmati rice, or simply stand alone, perhaps dipped in velvety Avocado Dip or draped in cooling Raita. Simply divine, wouldn’t you agree?

What is a seekh kebab?

Close-up top-down view of beef kebabs on skewers atop a naan, decorated with a lime swirl and cilantro leaves.

A seekh kebab is a popular South Asian dish made from minced meat, typically beef, lamb, or chicken, mixed with a variety of spices, aromatics and herbs. The mixture is then molded onto seekhs aka skewers and grilled or roasted until it’s wonderfully tender. A staple in Pakistani and Indian cuisine, it’s known for its rich taste and aromatic spices. Whether you enjoy them as a snack, appetizer, or main course, seekh kebabs are truly delicious for any occasion!

Nutrition highlights

These charcoal kebabs are a nutritional powerhouse, boasting:

  • Iron-rich beef for healthy blood circulation.
  • Protein-packed goodness for muscle strength.
  • Antioxidant-rich spices for overall health.

Main ingredients

A selection of food ingredients including raw minced beef, ramekins of powdered spices, aromatics and herbs.
  • Ground beef (not lean, at least 20% fat)
  • White onion (avoid chopping finely)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh garlic
  • Thai green chillies: you can adjust to your taste
  • Coriander powder: ground from coriander seeds
  • Cumin powder
  • Mace
  • Star anise powder
  • Garam masala
  • Fresh cilantro: leaves and stems
  • A large egg

How to make them on a charcoal grill

Step 1: Combine the Ingredients

Raw mince beef topped with spices, herbs, aromatics and a cracked egg.
In a large mixing bowl, add the ground ground beef along with the remaining ingredients.
A hand squashing raw minced beef in a bowl.
Use your hands to mix everything well. Then divide the mixture equally into six balls.
One hand submerged in a bowl of raw minced beef and the other hand holding metal skewers.
Have your metal skewers ready and divide the mix into six.
Six balls of raw mince beef in a bowl.
Shape into six equal balls. At this stage, you could place them in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it easier to shape them into kebabs.
Perspective view of raw mince beef kebabs on skewers on a plate.
Take your metal skewers and shape each ball into a kebab shape. Dipping your hands in water helps with shaping. Ensure the thickness is equal along the length of the kebab. Repeat with the remaining five balls.

Step 2: Cook the Kebabs

Outdoor charcoal grill

Preheat your charcoal grill. I love using charcoal because of the incredible authentic flavour. There’s nothing quite like it!

Perspective view of raw mince beef kebabs on skewers on an outdoor charcoal grill.
Carefully place your skewers on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook to prevent dry kebabs. This method uses no oil.
  • Home Grill: If using your home grill, broil (top shelf of oven) for 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. This method also uses no oil.
  • Pan Fry: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the kebabs for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Troubleshooting kebab mixture falling off skewers

Meat Mixture Too Wet: If your meat mixture has too much moisture, it won’t hold together well. I’ve found this often happens if you’ve added too much onion or chopped the onion too finely. To fix this, try draining any excess liquid from the onion before mixing it into the meat. Also, don’t prepare the ingredients too far in advance, as letting them sit can release moisture. It’s best to combine everything just before shaping the kebabs.

Improper Shaping: Make sure to press the meat mixture firmly onto the skewers, ensuring there are no air pockets and that the meat adheres well. I like to dip my hands in water to help with this process. In my experience, metal skewers work better than wooden ones for holding the meat securely.

Mixture Too Wet: If you still feel the mixture is too wet, try placing it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm it up before shaping and cooking.

Serve & Enjoy:

Perspective view of grilled beef kebabs on skewers atop a naan.
  • These kebabs are incredibly versatile. Serve them with a side of Basmati rice, in a wrap, on a roti, or simply on their own.
  • Add all the frills like your favourite chutneys and achars (pickles) to immerse in the full experience of Pakistani kebabs.

For a complete list of ingredient measurements and detailed step-by-step instructions, you can find everything you need in the printable recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

Chef’s tip for newbies

Remember, fat is your friend when it comes to making perfect kebabs! The fat helps to keep the kebabs moist and succulent during cooking, ensuring every bite is juicy and delicious. That’s why for this recipe, I do not choose lean minced beef.

Food safe storage

We’ve never had any leftovers when it comes to this recipe. However, if you do, once cooled, store them in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoy them within 4 days. 

For meal planning, you can make a big batch and store the raw kebabs in the freezer. To do this, freeze the kebabs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once they are fully frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag to save space. When you’re ready to cook, defrost the kebabs in the fridge overnight, then cook and enjoy! This method ensures you always have delicious kebabs ready to go.

Close-up top-down view of beef kebabs on skewers atop a naan, decorated with a lime swirl and cilantro leaves and a ramekin of raita.

If you try this seekh kebab skewers, I’d love to hear from you! Share your rating, leave a comment, and be sure to tag me on Instagram @DesiliciousRD! Seeing your creations truly makes my day!

Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi
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Close-up top-down view of beef kebabs on skewers atop a naan, decorated with a lime swirl and cilantro leaves and a ramekin of raita.
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Get the Recipe:

Kick-Ass Pakistani Minced Beef Seekh Kebab Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 kebabs
This is the one recipe the kids have been pleading with me to share. Made with ground beef, aromatics and a spice blend that simply ignites the taste buds. Seriously, these Pakistani Seekh Kebabs are so drool-worthy, that you might find yourself eating them straight off the grill. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 600 g ground beef, at least 20% fat, not lean
  • ¼ cup onion, white, chopped (not finely), drain excess moisture
  • 1 tbsp ginger, fresh, peeled, crushed
  • 2 tbsp garlic, fresh, peeled, minced
  • 5 Thai green chillies, hot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground into powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp mace
  • ½ tsp star anise powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ cup cilantro, fresh, washed, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, large
  • tsp sea salt

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef with the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to thoroughly mix everything together until well combined. Divide the mixture equally into six portions and shape each portion into a ball.
  • Dip your hands in water to prevent sticking, then take one portion of the meat mixture and mold it onto a skewer, shaping it into a kebab. Ensure the thickness is uniform along the length of the kebab. Repeat the process with the remaining portions of the meat mixture, forming a total of six kebabs on skewers.

For Outdoor Grill

  • Preheat your charcoal grill to medium-high heat. The smoky flavour from charcoal adds an incredible depth to the kebabs.
  • Carefully place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the kebabs are cooked through. Avoid overcooking to maintain juiciness.

For Home Oven

  • If using your oven's broiler, preheat it to high heat and position the oven rack on the top shelf.
  • Using both hands, grasp the skewers firmly, ensuring you hold onto the kebab itself rather than the skewer handle. Place the skewers on a baking sheet lined with foil and broil the kebabs for 3-4 minutes on one side until they start to brown and develop a nice char.
  • Carefully flip the skewers using tongs to ensure even cooking on both sides. Continue broiling for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the kebabs are fully cooked. Keep an eye on the kebabs and adjust the position of the skewers if necessary to ensure they receive even heat. Avoid overcooking to maintain the succulence of the kebabs.

For Pan Frying

  • Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Carefully place the skewers in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the kebabs are cooked through. Avoid overcooking. The timing will vary according to the temperature of your cooktop and skillet.

To Serve

  • Serve the kebabs hot off the grill, accompanied by a refreshing side of raita. For a satisfying meal, wrap the kebabs in a soft warm roti spread with creamy avocado dip, and add your favourite veggies and greens. Enhance the flavours with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Notes

Tips for Authentic Success

  • Choose 20% Fat Minced Beef: Opt for minced beef with a higher fat content, around 20%, for juicier and more flavorful kebabs.
  • Homemade Garam Masala: Elevate the taste profile with homemade garam masala for a unique and aromatic blend of spices.  It only takes 10 minutes to whip up.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh garlic, ginger, and cilantro to enhance the flavours of the kebabs.
  • Grind Coriander Seeds: For the best flavour, grind whole coriander seeds to make coriander powder instead of using store-bought.
  • Avoid Overcooking: Prevent dryness by ensuring not to overcook the kebabs. Test for doneness after 4-5 minutes of cooking. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on your oven or stovetop. Use the suggested timings as a guide and adjust accordingly to achieve perfect results.

Food safe storage

  • Once cooled, store leftover seekh kebabs in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoy them within 4 days.
  • For meal planning, you can make a big batch and store the raw kebabs in the freezer. To do this, freeze the kebabs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once they are fully frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag to save space. When you’re ready to cook, defrost the kebabs in the fridge overnight, then cook and enjoy! This method ensures you always have delicious kebabs ready to go.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 279kcal (14%)Carbohydrates: 3g (1%)Protein: 19g (38%)Fat: 21g (32%)Saturated Fat: 8g (40%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 98mg (33%)Sodium: 565mg (24%)Potassium: 336mg (10%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 139IU (3%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 47mg (5%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions, and might fluctuate depending on ingredient variations, portion sizes, and recipe adjustments. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cuisine: pakistani
Course: Main
Did you make this recipe?Mention @desiliciousrd on Instagram or tag #desiliciousrd.