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Beef Seekh Kabob

Introduce flavor to your weekly dinner rotation with quick and easy beef seekh kabobs. Think juicy, perfectly grilled beef skewers loaded with warm spices and aromatics – they are delicious and perfect for meal prep!

If you enjoy kabobs, try Persian koobideh kabob or joojeh kabob!

Beef Seekh Kabob in a serving dish.

What are Seekh Kabobs?

‘Seekh’ means skewers, and ‘kabob’ refers to meat that cooks over a fire. Beef seekh kebabs are grilled meat skewers traditionally seasoned with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Serve them with raita, chutney, and naan or roti.

History of the Beef Seekh Kabob

Seekh kabobs trace their origins back to Turkey, where they were known as shish kabob, having been introduced to India by the Turks. In Turkish, shish means ‘sword,’ a reference to the skewer, and kabob means ‘to roast.’ And well, the rest is history.

Though the flavors and ingredients have transformed over time (depending on the region), it remains a popular meal all over South Asia. Form the kabobs using spiced minced or ground meat, usually lamb, beef, or chicken, into cylinders on skewers and grill them to perfection.

What is a Seekh Kebab Made Of?

  • Whole Spices: Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds, and grind them into a powder to deeply flavor the ground beef seekh kabobs.
  • Aromatics: Combine the onions, garlic, ginger, green chiles, and fresh cilantro to flavor the beef mixture. You can leave them as it is or puree them with warm spices before kneading them into the ground beef.
  • Ground Beef: The higher fat content in the beef could cause the meat to pull away from the skewers and fall into the flame; I use 80/20 ground beef. You can also use ground lamb, ground chicken, or a combination of ground beef and lamb, which all taste amazing!
  • Ground Spices: Season the kabob mixture with homemade garam masala, kosher salt, Kashmiri chili powder, and red pepper flakes.
  • Ghee: Ghee has a warm, nutty flavor and prevents the kabobs from sticking to the grill.

Tools Used to Make the Recipe

If you plan to bake the kabobs, you’ll need thin skewers and a rimmed baking sheet. However, if you prefer to prepare the beef seekh kabobs using a gas or charcoal grill, you’ll only need thin skewers and something to transport the kabobs back and forth.

How to Make Beef Seekh Kabob

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Warm a skillet over medium heat. Add the whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds; toast for 5 minutes over medium heat. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and process until fine. Set the spices aside.

Whole spices toasting in the pan.

Step 2:

Option 1: Dice the vegetables and add them directly to the mixing bowl.

Option 2: Add the onions, garlic, ginger, green chiles, and cilantro to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Onions and peppers in a food processor.

Step 3: Place the ground beef in a mesh strainer and use your hands to press out any excess water. Then, transfer the meat to a large mixing bowl.

Step 4: Add the reserved ground spices, onions, garlic, green chiles, cilantro, garam masala, kosher salt, Kashmiri chili powder, red pepper flakes, and ghee to the ground beef and mix to combine. Knead for 5 minutes until it is tender and the meat is stringy.

Ground spices, onions, and chiles with ground beef in a bowl.

Step 5: Cover the beef and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Covering the marinated meat.

Step 6: Remove the ground beef mixture from the refrigerator. Hold a metal skewer with one hand and form a palm-size amount of beef onto the skewer using your other hand; be sure the meat wraps around the entire skewer with no spaces or cracks.

Beef Seekh Kabob lined onto skewers.

Tip: Dip your hand in ice water to smooth the meat onto the skewer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until all the skewers are loaded.

For the Oven:

Step 7: Preheat the oven to 450℉ (232℃). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set the skewers onto it. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the kabobs every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Beef Seekh Kabob baking in the oven.

Step 8: Slide the kabobs off of the skewers an onto a serving plate. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving with raita and fresh bread.

Beef Seekh Kabob resting before serving.

For the Grill:

Step 9: Remove the grates from your gas grill and set them aside. Adjust the burners to high heat for 10 minutes to preheat the grill before adding the kabobs.

Beef seekh kabobs on the grill.

Step 10: Set the skewers on the grill over high heat. Cover and cook for 6 minute. Then, flip the kabobs and cook on high heat for another 6 minutes.

Beef seekh kabobs on the grill.
Beef Seekh Kabobs on a serving plate.

Expert Tips

  • You can knead the meat with a food processor, but I prefer to do it by hand, making it easy to spot the large onion and chili pieces in the mixture. Large pieces left in the ground beef will cause it to pull away from the skewer while grilling.
  • Use skinny kabob skewers for the meat to adhere to and cook from the inside out. 
  • Pour ice water into a bowl and leave it next to the beef mixture. Dip your hand into the ice water to prevent the meat from sticking to your hand. 
  • After forming the beef onto the skewers, line them onto a baking sheet for easy transportation. When the temperature outside is warm, I encourage you to refrigerate the skewers before adding them to the grill.
  • If you decide to leave the grates on your gas grill, be sure they are well-oiled and cleaned before using them. You don’t want the kabobs to stick! 

Searching for More Like This? 

If you love this recipe, try one of these Pakistani favorites!  

Beef Seekh Kabob in a serving dish.

Serving Suggestions

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Store the leftover kabobs in the an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze – Once the kabobs cool, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. Beef seekh kabobs freeze for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the meat in the refrigerator overnight.
  • How to Reheat Beef Seekh Kababs Warm the leftovers in the microwave or on a skillet over medium heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other ground meat?

Sure, replace the beef with ground lamb, turkey, or chicken. If using ground turkey or chicken, try to find ground dark meat since it will have more fat and flavor than ground chicken or turkey breast.

Why should I knead the mixture?

In his book The Food Lab, J. Kenji Lopez Alt explains that kneading ground meat for kabobs helps bind the protein. I find the process helpful because I can easily spot larger pieces of onions and peppers (if chopping instead of pureeing).

More Indian Recipes:

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Beef Seekh Kabob in a serving dish.

Beef Seekh Kabob

Tressa Jamil
Introduce flavor to your dinner rotation with this easy beef seekh kabob recipe. The juicy, perfectly grilled beef skewers are packed with flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 10 Kabobs
Calories 156 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 green chilies, stems and seeds removed, and finely diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef, 80/20
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
Instructions
 
  • Warm a skillet over medium heat. Add the whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds; toast for 5 minutes over medium heat. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and process until fine. Set the spices aside.
  • Option 1: Dice the vegetables and add them directly to the mixing bowl.
    Option 2: Add the onions, garlic, ginger, green chiles, and cilantro to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • Place the ground beef in a mesh strainer and use your hands to press out any excess water. Then, transfer the meat to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the reserved ground spices, onions, garlic, green chiles, cilantro, garam masala, kosher salt, Kashmiri chili powder, red pepper flakes, and ghee to the ground beef and mix to combine. Knead for 5 minutes until it is tender and the meat is stringy.
  • Cover the beef and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the ground beef mixture from the refrigerator. Hold a metal skewer with one hand and form a palm-size amount of beef onto the skewer using your other hand; be sure the meat wraps around the entire skewer with no spaces or cracks.
    Dip your hand in ice water to smooth the meat onto the skewer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until all the skewers are loaded.

For the Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 450℉ (232℃). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set the skewers onto it. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the kabobs every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  • Slide the kabobs off of the skewers an onto a serving plate. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving with raita and fresh bread.

For the Grill:

  • Remove the grates from your gas grill and set them aside. Adjust the burners to high heat for 10 minutes to preheat the grill before adding the kabobs.
  • Set the skewers on the grill over high heat. Cover and cook for 6 minute. Then, flip the kabobs and cook on high heat for another 6 minutes.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • You can knead the meat with a food processor, but I prefer to do it by hand, making it easy to spot the large onion and chili pieces in the mixture. Large pieces left in the ground beef will cause it to pull away from the skewer while grilling.
  • Use skinny kabob skewers for the meat to adhere to and cook from the inside out. 
  • Pour ice water into a bowl and leave it next to the beef mixture. Dip your hand into the ice water to prevent the meat from sticking to your hand. 
  • After forming the beef onto the skewers, line them onto a baking sheet for easy transportation. When the temperature outside is warm, I encourage you to refrigerate the skewers before adding them to the grill.
  • If you decide to leave the grates on your gas grill, be sure they are well-oiled and cleaned before using them. You don’t want the kabobs to stick! 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Kabob | Calories: 156 kcal | Carbohydrates: 3 g | Protein: 8 g | Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 5 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 40 mg | Sodium: 387 mg | Potassium: 178 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 0.3 g | Vitamin A: 136 IU | Vitamin C: 2 mg | Calcium: 30 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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