Pakistani Seekh Kebab + Yogurt Raita

What’s better than lounging out on your patio, flipping burgers and hot dogs on the grill ? I’ll tell you what is. Making Seekh Kebabs at home. In your oven. With meat that is marinated in Pakistani spices and grilled to perfection. With the month of fasting coming to an end to welcome Eid in just a few days, I decided to embrace the spirit of summer and show you how barbeque is done the right way… sorry I meant to say how it’s done back home in Pakistan.

Seekh Kebab

Seekh kebab, which literally means kebab on a skewer, are traditionally made on an outdoor grill over coals that add as much color as it does flavor to the kebabs. I live in an apartment and don’t have a grill. So I was a little hesitant making these in the oven. But let me tell you that when these kebabs came sizzling out of the oven with much adulation from the fire alarm which just would not stop singing (check out my video for demo), my sister and I just could not have enough. The yogurt raita is simple and a must to go with these kebabs. I will do 100 squats if you tell me you made these and failed. It’s that easy to make.

Seekh Kebab

4.6 from 30 reviews
Pakistani Seekh Kebab + Yogurt Raita
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Hey, try a barbeque that's full of flavor and spices.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Pakistani
Ingredients
  • 1 lb beef chuck (80% lean 20% fat)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • ¼ cup mint, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 green chilli (grind into paste in an electric grinder)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¾ tsp cumin powder
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper (I add 1 tsp because I like it real spicy)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yogurt (Indian style such as Gopi)
  • 2 tbsp mint
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 medium green chilli
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F when you are ready to bake the kebabs.
  2. Into your beef, add coriander powder, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, salt along with the onion, ginger and garlic paste, mint, coriander and green chilli paste and melted butter. Be sure to squeeze the onions in your hands to drain its juice otherwise there will too much moisture in your beef and they won't stick to the skewer.
  3. Mix with hand until everything is incorporated but don't overwork it.
  4. Cover with foil and let marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour and up to six hours.
  5. While kebab is marinating, make yogurt raita. Grind 2 tbsp each of mint and coriander along with the green chilli in an electric grinder with a touch of water to make a paste.
  6. Pour this paste into the yogurt.
  7. Add water to get the desired consistency. If you like the raita more liquidy, add more water. Season with salt and keep aside.
  8. To make the kebabs, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  9. Scoop out a big ball of the meat mixture and pierce it through the skewer. Working quickly but gently, spread the meat on the skewer with your hands.
  10. Press you middle finger in a diagonal angle down the beef skewer to make the signature grooves on the kebab.
  11. To grill the kebabs in the oven, place the rack in the upper third of the oven in a roating tin that has a grill on it (edit made per viewer suggestions).
  12. Bake kebabs for 20-25 minutes, rotating as needed to brown the kebabs all around. If you find that your kebabs are getting dry, brush oil as needed. However, I don't think you will need to add oil because unlike the heat from an outdoor grill, the oven keeps the kebabs cooking in its own juices.
  13. Once cooked, slide of the kebabs onto a plate and serve with raita and pita bread.
  14. This makes 6 really big kebabs.
 

107 comments

  1. I searched for Seekha Kabeb recipe and yours came on top. So I tried it the last weekend, with mutton (goat meat). The kebabs were FABULOUS to say the least – and a big hit with everyone who ate them. The only thing I added was a couple of eggs (for 2 lbs meat) to get the meat to bind and stay on the skewer. Awesome recipe and great results – thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much for leaving your feedback! It’s always a joy reading success stories! The traditional method doesn’t call for eggs but I must admit making these kebab stick without a binder like eggs can be a challenge. I will try incorporating egg into the mix and update the recipe with my results.

  2. great work.. Do we need to wash the minced meat?

    1. The heat while cooking will kill all bacteria so I don’t wash minced meat. The only thing I wash is Chicken pieces (again not minced), to remove the blood that clots in the nooks.

  3. The chicken was already ground and did not specify on the label. I find beef does not taste so well as lamb or chicken.

    Matt

    1. Yes, it doesn’t say anywhere on the box if the ground chicken is made from breast or thigh. I love thighs and I never use chicken breast in my cooking as I find it chewy but there is no way to know what cut of chicken is used for ground chicken.

  4. I have made it with ground chicken. I added extra on the spices along with ginger, garlic, fresh coriander. Amazing taste!

    Matt

    1. Thanks for leaving you comment Matthew. Did you try with ground chicken thighs or chicken breast? Would help out other readers who don’t want to cook with beef.

  5. If I were to make this with ground chicken or turkey, would you change anything in the recipe? Like add more fat or something else so that it doesn’t dry out?

    1. The only thing I would do is use chicken thighs because they tend to be juicier. I you use chicken breast, you can add 2 more tbsp of butter.

  6. I am going to make this today! Haven’t had Seekh kabob since 2003 when I lived in Virginia. Can’t find Pakistani out here in Seattle. Cheers and thank you for the recipe!

  7. I am a kabab lover. Seekh kabab is my favorite kabab. Thanks for your recipe dear. I’ll try your recipe.

    1. Will definitely need to try your recipes. Hari kebab looks delicious!

  8. Damaris Sandoval

    I come from a Hispanic background and I always veer toward making food from my own culture. I wanted to surprise my family with something new. So, it was my first time making and tasting seekh kebab. We were not dissapointed! I made the mince using ground chicken and it was so delicious! Oh! And the raita too! I will definitely be making some of your other recipes. Thank you!!!

    1. Thank you for trying my recipe Damaris! It truly makes my day to read such sweet comments!

  9. I made this dish exactly except for a few deviations: 1) Added two eggs (because I doubled the recipe) to assist as a binding agent and 2) Did not let sit for the recommended 1-6 hours because of time constraints and let me please share my gratitude….. the kababs were delicious and had my fiancee and roommate simply raving about it! Next time, I’ll plan my meals out better and leave myself enough time so it can sit in the fridge longer. Even though I doubled the recipe, all the kababs I made were gone. I was sad there were no leftovers but a food that is quickly consumed is a huge compliment any foodie can ever ask for! Once again, thank you!

    1. Nisha! I’m so glad you tried the recipe and tool time to give me your feedback. I hope you get a chance to try more recipe. My Tandoori Chicken is a beast of a dish on the dinner table:P

  10. Hi,

    Can I sub beef for ground chicken?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey yes, that should be a-okay!:)

  11. Hi, I would like to use this for my packed lunch at school but I was wondering whether I could freeze it then cook it or cook it then store in the fridge

    1. Hi Samira, I wouldn’t recommend freezing marinated meat.

  12. Will these seeks kebabs taste different if I make these in a rotisserie? My rotisserie is an electric one and has kebab skewers. Thanks., Rajeev.

    1. I meant seekh kebabs….autocorrect is a pain!

      1. Hi Rajeev, I haven’t tried in a rotisserie but it should not be too different. You may need to adjust the temperature accordingly. Good Luck!!

  13. Made these last night for hubby and I and they turned out amazing!!!! Thank you for making such an easy to follow recipe 🙂 Can’t wait to try your tandoori chicken tonight.

    1. So happy to hear that Aliza! You’ll love the tandoori chicken! thanks for leaving your feedback.

  14. Trying the recipe now. A word of warning though, keep a close eye on the oven. I was in another room and was like…”wow, that really smells strong.” The oven was smoking from all the grease on the foil and I am now sitting with all my doors and windows open in a smoke-filled house. Maybe the 450* is a little excessive and I’m surprised there is not a fire yet.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. It may be because of brushing the grill with oil, which in retrospect sounds very hazardous. The oven temp otherwise is fine.

  15. […] ginger garlic paste gives it a Pakistani flavor, which along with the raita that I shared with my Seekh Kebab fills the kitchen with a familiar aroma of Pakistani cooking. Follow along and you’ll be […]

  16. Hiya , made the recipe today , smoke in kitchen & all . Turned out very well indeed , it’s the only recipe which advises adding butter into the mince & that makes all the difference ! I didn’t have skewers so I turned it into thin mince patties , it tasted wonderful and the shape held ! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us .

    1. So happy you enjoyed the recipe Nitashsa! Thanks for trying!

  17. What a cute video! 🙂
    I’ve got a house party coming up on the 9th of December and I’m totally trying this.
    Will let you know how it turns out.

    1. Well… did you try the recipe, Marvin?:)

  18. This is a great recipe. I followed the the recipe to the T and it tasted really good. Honestly, one of best kebabs I had and it tested better than restaurant. Flavors were very pronounced and it will become one of my favorite recipes.

    I would like to caution all viewers on making this in the house oven. My entire apartment was covered with smoke and I was not even able to see across the living room ( more than what I expected than what I saw on the video) Even though I had the foil setup to catch grease/butter, it got caught on fire and scared the hell out of me. The fire kept increasing and I took a scary chance to take the fire foil out and dumped it into the sink and the oven was still on fire and my wife threw water in the oven to extinguish it. The fire alarm kept beeping and I had to open all the doors, windows and garage to take it out. I thought I was in trouble and fire truck will show up to my apartment. Next time I will just use bbq grill and do it out side.

    I thought my kebabs were burnt in the fire, but fortunately they didn’t and tasted great.

    1. Thank you for leaving this feedback, I will actually edit some parts of my recipe so people use caution with this method.

    2. I have made seekh kababs in the oven hundreds of times over the past 25 years and have never had a fire. Was your oven electric or gas? Either way, it is never advisable to open an oven to try and extinguish a flare up. Always turn it off and leave the door closed. A fire will burn itself out when there is no oxygen left and that is usually within seconds. Opening the door is asking for trouble.

      Also, if you do need to extinguish a fat fire which this was, NEVER use water. A kitchen sized CO2 fire extinguisher is always your best bet. Safety first, live long and healthy, enjoy good food.

  19. Matt, authentic Pakistani is always with beef. Lamb or goat were rarely used in the eateries because they can be too lean and way too expensive.

    If anyone is interested in a good naan recipe I have developed one through years of testing and baking in a conventional oven. If you have one that has a convection fan, that’s even better. My earlier failed attempts always rendered them too dry. After much research I got it fine tuned to the point it was as close to authentic as one can get. The key though is to have a food-safe pizza oven tile that is at least 3/4″ thick. Otherwise it just won’t work.

    I would be happy to share that with all, as well as some images if I can post them here.

    1. Ralph, I would love a good naan recipe. Please feel free to email me at rookiewithacookie@gmail.com

  20. Hi, I didn’t see it when you put butter on the grill.

  21. Izza,
    Great recipe. a lot of these online do not hit the nail. I always visit the Pakistan restaurants in London, UK for the best kebabs.
    I used lamb to make them authentic and increased the spice quantities and came out wonderful….I would send you a picture if I can. Please can you provide a Keema Naan recipe that can be cooked at home without using a tandoor?

    regards Matt

    1. Hi Matt! Thank you leaving me your feedback. Lamb is even better (good call on increasing the spices!) I haven’t yet toyed around with a good naan recipe but I will definitely share as soon as I nail one.

  22. Awaiting for Pakistani Nihari and Paya please.

    Thank you so much.

  23. Hi
    I was wondering if you have the recipe for Tandoori chicken !
    cheers

    1. I do:) Please look at my recipe index for all my recipes. It’s a delicious one!:) http://rookiewithacookie.com/pakistani-tandoori-chicken/

  24. Can I make this with lamb ? I am not so fond of lamb but using all of these spices may eradicate that smell it has ? Would it work ? I have already tried it on beef and mutton. It was just amazing. My husband flipped on it.

    1. You can definitely make this on lamb too. When I made it once with it, I noticed the color of the kebabs is on the lighter side. Thanks for trying:)

  25. made these last night, awesomeness, thanks for sharing
    pete @cook with love,
    ps started following you on insta , 🙂

    1. Thank you for trying the kebab, Peter! 🙂

  26. I made this today and it’s delicious! It tastes just like the ones I get from the paki restaurants. I’ve been asking my boyfriend to give me recipes from his mom’s cooking for years and he still hasn’t! So glad I found your blog because I think he’ll be impressed with this one! I did broil them the last couple minutes just to get that nice charred flavor. I can’t wait til I can throw these on the grill (I’m in the same boat as you with an apartment). I also used 1 tsp of cayenne and 3 green thai chili peppers, because well.. we like it spicy! I can’t wait to try your chicken tikka recipe – that’s up next! Do you happen to have a kofta recipe you wouldn’t mind sharing? Thanks again! Looking forward to more Paki recipes!! 🙂

    1. I meant tandoori chicken! Whoops! That’s just how excited I am about it! Haha

    2. So happy you liked the recipe! I will definitely hunt down a good recipe for kofta soon:)

  27. Thanks so much for this recipe. I buy halal meat from a store close by and he did not have ground meat with fat like u mentioned. Can I add something like shortening to it to make it better and so that they don’t break. I don’t want to make Chaplin. Please help.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Yes I usually add 4 tbsp of melted unsalted butter to the mix. If you don’t have butter, oil works well too. Also, I have noticed that halal meat sticks better to the skewer.

  28. My wife and I made this for the first time for a dinner party we hosted over the weekend. It was amazing! Tasted delicious, and everyone couldn’t stop raving about it. Thank you!
    Also – our smoke alarm freaked out as well – you called it.

    1. SO glad you tried it! Thanks for leaving your feedback:)

  29. Thank you so much for this delicious and new to me recipe! 5 star all the way totally delicious 🙂 the yogurt sauce really adds something special to it and I am glad I didn’t skip it! Thank you for sharing your recipe for this is my way to experience your culture! Peace ✌?

    1. Thank you so much Michelle for your sweet words. Food is indeed the best way to share culture:) I hope you give my other recipes a go as well

  30. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! The yogurt sauce really adds something special 🙂 I want to give a 5 star review but it is only allowing 4 but it is 5 star. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Mchelle!! You leaving a comment bumps it up to 5 stars for me:)

  31. How does besan and egg play a role in the taste of sheekh kebabs when you want to add yogurt into the marinade. Also for bbq does it not fall off the skewer with such a lean meat to fat ratio?(80-20)

    1. I don’t use it because if you have the right fat to lean ratio, you don’t need besan or egg. If you use water to help the met on the skewers, then they won’t fall off. But sometimes they do depending on technique.. in that case I make chapli kebab haha

  32. I recently got married and wanted to try something different. They honestly tasted amazing and my husband loved them! It was great watching you, thanks for this!

    1. Thank you Hinna! I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe:)

  33. Thanks for the Recipe. It came out so juicy&tasty.

  34. I made these kababs and they turned out great. I ve tried many recipes but hands down this was the best and the easiest. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for trying my recipe, Zain! If you haven’t already, check out my Tandoori Chicken too:)

  35. Hi,
    I will try this, in past I had issue with smoke, with 20% fat, you are talking about a lot of smoke. The smoke alarms go crazy and make me tired running up n down.
    I’m kind a baffled that no one had this issue?
    My kebabs usually break-apart..

    1. Yeah, there will be quite a lot of smoke. I usually just stand and fan the fire alarm detector haha
      your kebabs shouldnt break apart if you directly place them on the grill..

    2. Fire alarm will ring so much, no way to help that ahaha! It’s okay if they break apart. Just put them directly on the grill or make chapli kebabs out of them.

  36. Rookie with Cookie: I love to cook. Will surely try this recipe. Curious to see what taste mint brings.
    Living in Canada and miss the authentic food taste back home.

    Ralp: I remember when you introduced me to Dara Bashir in 1985..

    1. Thanks for checking it out! Hope you enjoy it.

    2. Irfan, Dara was a great boss and working for MIL was one of the most interesting jobs I have held. BTW, what’s your last name? I remember Irfan Suleri who worked there when I joined….I think. It has been a while.

  37. I never thought ‘I’ could make SEEKH KABAB!! It was always something bought from a restaurant. But when I saw your video and how doable you made it seem, I gave it a try. I LOVED IT. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe!! Going to try it on a charcoal grill on Eid. 🙂

    1. So glad to hear that it turned out well for you, Saiqa! Please try other recipes on my website and channel!

  38. P.S. I forgot to add that I make them in the shape they would normally have when skewers are used. They cook really well, through and through.

    Ralph A. Croning

  39. This is probably a silly question, but I don’t have skewers and really want to try these out tonight. Could I go ahead and try without the skewers?

    1. You can definitely do them without skewers. I would recommend making them into patties in that case ad pan frying them. Were you able to try this?

      1. I do seekh kababs without skewers in an oven set to 400F. Cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, and oiled to prevent sticking. For a final brown I give them about 2 minutes with the oven set to grill. Works great every time.

        1. Thanks for sharing your tip, Ralph!

        2. Thanks Ralph, I’ll try it this way!

          1. One of the simplest tricks to keeping the kababs together is to use meat that is not too lean. A bit of fat helps to keep the kabab together. Also, make sure all the other ingredients are chopped really fine. If coarsely chopped they will cause the kababs to break apart.

      2. I actually got skewers (drove like a maniac) from my mum’s and did it. The taste was awesome but I didn’t get the texture right somehow, too soft/limp, they BARELY stayed on the skewers when I tried! I’ll let you know when I try them again if I manage to pinpoint where I went wrong the last time! Thanks a lot though, awesome recipe, I’m not Pakistani but my husband is, and he loved them too!

        1. Use 30% of fat atleast which will make it much more tasty and will stick at your skewer.

        2. I have been making seekh kababs in the oven for ages and just skip the skewers. Shape them as they should look – about 3/4″ to an inch in diameter and about 6″ or so long. Place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil that’s lightly coated with oil.

          I use extra lean or lean ground beef for mine and without the skewers they don’t fall apart and taste just as good. The skewers don’t add anything to the taste so you won’t be missing much. And don’t worry, they cook right through really well.

  40. nice test

  41. Muhammad Ahmed Bhatti

    Great to come across this video. Will appreciate if I can know more about you cooking knowledge, contact if possible, as I am looking towards opening a new pakistani franchise in GCC.

    1. Hi Ahmed,

      Of course! Not sure where GCC is on the map but You can email me over at rookiewithacookie@gmail.com

  42. Muhammad Ahmed Bhatti

    Great to come across this video. Will appreciate if I can know more about you cooking knowledge, contact if possible, thanks.

  43. Hey, whats the difference between putting them in the oven and grilling them? Or are they pretty much the same thing?

    1. Grilling out in the open allows the steam to escape and obviously is the best option. Adds more flavor specially if you have a charcoal grill. Oven is only if you don’t have a grill. But the taste is far superior with a grill:)

  44. Can I make them without melted butter? How will they turn out then ? Or can I replace the melted butter with something else. ?

    1. Hi Sadia,

      You can replace butter with oil or raw papaya paste. If you don’t add those, the kebabs will be a little tough and hard. Let me know when you try them:)

  45. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life:) I hope my recipes keep bringing you back to my blog!

  46. I usually use Shan Seekh Kabab Masala for this but your recipe sound very interesting and definitely worth a try. Looking forward to more of your recipes.

    Ralph.

    1. You’ll love this one! Thanks for checking out my blog:)

      1. Ralph A. Croning

        Being a transplanted Karachiite since 1988, I am always looking for different takes on our favourite Pakistani foods. Will let you know how this one goes.

        1. You live in Karachi? That’s amazing. My family lives in Karachi so I’m always back and forth between the States and Pakistan. And please do report back after you try this:)

          1. Ralph A. Croning

            Born, raised, educated and worked there; went to St. Paul’s High School. Worked for the Agha Khan Hospital Complex during its construction and after that for the owners. My last job before leaving the country was for Manhattan International Ltd., located at PECHS (Nursery). I came to Canada in 1988.

        2. Small world Ralph. I know you. I was one time working with Jehangir Mithani in Karachi and you were the client service rep for our product campaign ‘ Platinum Dried Peas’ This was back in 85 or 86. I am living in Canada now too.

          1. It’s a small world indeed! I remember Jehangir Mithani quite well and working on the Dried Peas account. I spent hours passing around samples and doing surveys. More hours were spent rehydrating them and trying to photograph them so they looked appetizing for the TV commercials. Eventually Dara’s brother, Shikoh, decided to try oiling them with engine oil. Man did they ever look tasty then 😉 😉

            I don’t remember them being called Platinum Dried Peas though. I may be wrong though. It’s been 30 years. Jehangir was the local distributor for the American Dried Pea Association. I don’t think that product took off well, since we as Pakistanis love our food fresh!!

            What ever became of Jehangir?

  47. i want to try all your recipes you are so cute !!

    1. Thank you so much! Please try ALL of them!

  48. Hi there,
    I liked your video and upbeat attitude!! I will definitely try your recipe!! Seekh Labab is my favorite.. Can I make it with turkey too?

    1. You can definitely make it with turkey or chicken. Just make sure to add 2-3 tbsp of melted butter to the mince. You’ll love it!

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