Authentic Pakistani Seekh Kebabs Recipe – Spicy Grilled Ground Meat Skewers

Authentic Pakistani Seekh Kebabs Recipe - Spicy Grilled Ground Meat Skewers

Discover the mouthwatering flavors of Pakistan with these homemade seekh kebabs. Tender, juicy ground meat infused with aromatic spices and grilled to perfection – a crowd-pleasing dish that’s sure to impress!

Unlocking the Secrets of Seekh Kebab Perfection

Seekh kebabs are a beloved Pakistani street food that combines ground meat with a tantalizing blend of spices. This recipe takes you on a culinary journey, exploring the art of balancing flavors and achieving the ideal texture for these savory skewers.

Crafting the Ultimate Spice Blend

The heart of any great seekh kebab lies in its spice mixture. We’ll guide you through creating a harmonious blend of toasted whole spices, vibrant paprika, and the unique tanginess of amchur (dried mango powder). This combination delivers an authentic taste that will transport your taste buds straight to the streets of Lahore.

Mastering the Meat Mixture

Learn the tricks to achieving the perfect kebab consistency. We’ll show you how to properly incorporate aromatic ingredients, manage moisture levels, and harness the binding power of salt for kebabs that hold their shape on the grill while remaining incredibly juicy.

Grilling Techniques for Kebab Success

Discover the two-zone grilling method that ensures your seekh kebabs are cooked through while developing a delicious char. We’ll walk you through the process step-by-step, so you can achieve restaurant-quality results in your own backyard.

Authentic Pakistani Seekh Kebabs Recipe


For the Spice Blend:

  • 2 teaspoons (6g) whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (4g) whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) whole cumin seeds
  • 2 whole cloves (1g)
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) cayenne pepper
  • 3 teaspoons (12g) kosher salt (if using table salt, use 1 1/2 teaspoons by volume, or 12g by weight)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) amchur powder (see notes)

For the Aromatics:

  • 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves (about 2 ounces; 55g)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped (about 3/4 ounce; 20g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, roughly chopped (about 3/4 ounce; 20g)
  • 1 to 4 green Thai bird chiles, stems removed (to taste; they are very spicy)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (about 1/4 ounce; 7g)
  • 2 pounds (1kg) ground lamb or beef (about 20% fat content)

To Serve:

  • Shredded cabbage or 1 recipe spicy cabbage and red onion slaw
  • Sliced cucumbers, tomatoes (cut into bite-size pieces), and lime wedges


  1. Toast the whole spices (peppercorns, coriander, cumin, and cloves) in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan frequently until the spices become fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder, add bay leaves, and grind to a fine powder. Pour the ground spices into a food processor bowl.
  2. Add the remaining spices and aromatics to the food processor: paprika, cayenne, salt, amchur, red onion, cilantro, garlic, ginger, chiles, and sugar. Process until you have a fine paste, approximately 30 seconds. Transfer this mixture to a double layer of heavy-duty paper towels or a triple layer of cheesecloth. Gently press to begin extracting liquid, then form a bundle and squeeze over the sink to remove excess moisture. The resulting mixture should crumble easily when picked up.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat with the spice and aromatic blend. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients, massaging for about 4 minutes until the mixture becomes homogeneous and slightly tacky. For optimal texture, cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to 1 day before cooking.
  4. Divide the meat mixture into 12 equal portions, each weighing about 3 ounces. Shape each portion into a cylinder approximately 6 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Thread these onto metal skewers or pre-soaked bamboo skewers (soak for at least 2 hours to prevent burning).
  5. Prepare your grill for two-zone cooking. For charcoal, light one chimney full of coals and arrange them on one side of the grate when they’re covered with gray ash. For gas grills, set half the burners to high. Allow the grill to preheat for 5-10 minutes, then clean and oil the grates.
  6. Place the skewers on the cooler side of the grill and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until nearly cooked through. For a traditional appearance, you can finish cooking on this side. For added flavor and color, move the skewers to the hot side of the grill and cook for a few more minutes, turning frequently, until well-browned on all sides.
  7. Transfer the finished seekh kebabs to a serving platter. Serve immediately with shredded cabbage or spicy slaw, cucumber slices, tomato chunks, and lime wedges for squeezing.


Amchur, or dried mango powder, provides a distinctive tart flavor. Find it at Indian groceries, spice shops, or online retailers. If unavailable, substitute with 1 teaspoon (4g) citric acid powder, 2 teaspoons (10ml) tamarind paste, or 2 teaspoons (10ml) lime juice. When using tamarind paste or lime juice, incorporate them with the other moist ingredients in step 2. For bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least two hours before grilling to prevent burning.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
358 Calories
27g Fat
9g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 358
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 549mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 465mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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